Study examines effectiveness of electronic health messaging


Dr. Alice Richman (Photo by Chuck Baldwin)

By Kathy Muse

East Carolina University health education professor Dr. Alice Richman received a Merck & Company grant of $115,000 to study whether electronic reminders and educational messages might enhance HPV vaccine utilization, adherence and knowledge.

Volunteers will be culled from male and female students between 18 and 26 years of age who visit ECU Student Health Services for their first dose of the HPV vaccine.

“One group of randomly assigned students requesting the HPV vaccine will receive the current standard of care – paper cards with their next vaccination date written in,” Richman said. “Another group will receive electronic reminders and educational messages.”

The HPV vaccine consists of a three-dose series over a six-month time period. Students in the second group will receive either an electronic message via e-mail or a text message each month for seven months.

Funded by Merck & Company, the study begins in October and will continue for more than  a year.

Richman is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance.




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  14. I am excited to see that a large corporation is supporting this important research being conducted by Dr. Richman. I am looking forward to reading the results of the study as it may provide a new and useful means of delivering vital health services to young people.

  15. As a health professional, I believe that health messaging will be found to have positive outcomes for clients. I am proud that young professionals are investigating this critical area.

  16. What an impressive young faculty member successfully obtaining funding to support her important research.

  17. It is good to see that such important research is receiving the funding it deserves. I look forward to Dr. Richman’s results, which should have wide application.

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