Formative Evaluation of a Text Messaging Intervention to Promote Varenicline Adherence among Tobacco-Dependent Persons with HIV

Paul Krebs, Tuo Yen Tseng, Hieu Pham, Selena Wong, Scott E. Sherman, Donna Shelley, Robert D. Furberg, Hannah Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Few published studies describe processes in the development of mobile health interventions. This study reports data from a formative evaluation of a text messaging intervention being developed to increase adherence to smoking cessation medication (varenicline) among tobacco-dependent persons with HIV/AIDS. Four focus groups were conducted (N = 29) using a mixed-methods approach to assess: (a) beliefs and preferences regarding the use of varenicline, (b) preferences for receiving tobacco-related texts, and (c) the acceptability of draft text messages. Themes that emerged from the focus groups were that (a) participants were cautious and wanted to discuss varenicline carefully with health care providers, (b) participants preferred simple messages that were positive and encouraging, (c) messages should emphasize tobacco cessation and not varenicline adherence, and (d) texts would serve as a reminder about goals and foster support and connectedness with the health care team. Overall, 47 out of the 100 messages received a grade of C or less (rated on a 5-point grade scale: A, B, C, D, or F), the majority of which focused on medication adherence. All participants reported that they were likely to read the messages. The majority (64%) indicated that they preferred receiving 2 or more messages per day. Gathering systematic participant feedback provides critical input in intervention planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

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