Short Text Messages (SMS) as a Reminder System for Making Working Women from Delhi Breast Aware


A community based study was conducted with women employees in a private sector office of Delhi. A totalof 106 women who volunteered to participate in the study were trained in the technique of breast self-examination(BSE) with the help of a lecture, video, demonstration of the technique on breast model by the investigatorfollowed by feedback demonstration by the technique participants. Susequently, short text meassges (SMS)were sent according to the last menstrual period (LMP) information collected. Women who did not menstruatewere sent reminders on the first of every month. Statistical analysis was done using epinfo software. All the 106participants owned a personal mobile number, while 89% had a private connection of cell phone and 11% hada connection provided by a government agency. Some 76 (71.7%) of the women had a regular menstrual period,11 (10.3%) had an irregular menstrual period and 19(18%) had stopped menstruating either because ofmenopause, surgery or some medication. The delivery status of the SMS could be confirmed in majority of theinstances. From amongst those who did not do the self exam the main barriers to BSE identified were that theyforgot to do it and will do it now (54%), busy (47%), anxiety (12%), pain in the breasts (4%), and some questionregarding the exam(4%). Multiple responses were included. After the first two months of sending reminder thepractice of BSE increased significantly (p<0.05).