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Maxwell X Lab

Project Report

Family Planning

May 2019

Project Description

  • Partners: Syracuse Community Connections, Family Planning Service of Onondaga County Health Department
  • Intervention: Text message appointment reminders
  • Method: RCT
  • Outcomes: Increased appointment attendance

Project Report

The Maxwell X Lab partnered with Syracuse Community Connections and Family Planning Service of Onondaga County Health Department to test whether behaviorally informed appointment reminders could increase attendance at reproductive health clinics.

Each day, patients were randomized to receive text reminders (day before, morning of, and day after) or business-as-usual (no reminders). The reminder messages were personalized, came directly from staff (allowing patients to communicate directly), and told patients that staff would check in with them the day after to see how things went.

Over two months, patients who received text reminders were 28 percent more likely to show up (12.3 percentage points) – an increase from 44 percent to over 56 percent. Patients were also 125 percent more likely to reschedule when they could not make their appointment.

In part 2 of the project, we tested whether a different version of the reminder messages could further improve attendance. Version B of the message asked patients if they were still able to make it and prompted them to plan how they will get there instead of focusing on staff checking in post-appointment. Each day, patients were randomized to receive either the original reminders (version A) or the new iteration (version B).

Over two months, version A and B were equally effective at getting patients to attend.

Maxwell X Lab
426 Eggers Hall