Table 2

Characteristics of included studies of SMS-based appointment reminders among patients

Author/publication year/countryStudy participant/sample sizeStudy design/methods of data collection/sampling methodBarriers to SMS-based appointment remindersThe impacts of SMS according to the objective of each study
Geldof/2020/Burkina Faso17People living with HIV/3800RCT/semi-structured interviews and focus groups/purposive
  • Insufficient ICT literacy skill

  • Linguistic diversity

  • Unable to read the messages

Examine SMS to improve antiretroviral (ARV) retention and adherence
Nhavoto/2018/Mozambique18HIV, TV patients+HCWs/141+40=181RCT/semi-structured interview/ not stated
  • Matters of confidentiality

  • Loss of phone (Stolen)

Use of SMS for reminding appointments, medications, and sending motivational texts
  • Being a rural resident

  • Lack of money

  • Being of none educated

  • Lack of transport,

  • Work and time constraints

  • Poor awareness of the disease

 Role of SMS reminders on the uptake of glaucoma screening
Schroeder/ 2021/Tanzania23A child with cancer/40Cross-sectional survey/questionnaire/purposive sampling
  • Low literacy

  • Being a rural resident

Assessment of mobile phone ownership, use, and acceptability of an m-health intervention
Adewuya/2019/Nigeria20Adults with depression/895RCT//stratified random sampling
  • Lack of smartphone

Effectiveness and acceptability of mobile telephone adherence support for the management of depression
Mekonnen/ 2021/Ethiopia24Mothers/23Qualitative/interview/purposive
  • Low mobile phone ownership

  • A mobile network,

  • Electricity, Illiteracy

  • Inadequate ICT infrastructure

Explore acceptability, barriers and facilitators’ text message reminders system
Moodley/2019/South Africa25Cervical cancer precursor/364Mixed method/in-depth interview, FGD and questionnaire/stratified and purposive
  • Confidentiality

  • Loss/theft of mobile phones,

  • Lack of clarity of language

  • Low education, literacy

Feasibility of m-health technology to improve management and follow-up of clients
Dissieka/2019/Cote d’Ivoire21Mothers/1596RCT/questionnaire
  • Lack of familiarity with text messaging

  • Challenges of reading and understanding written messages

  • Low levels of education and literacy

Assess the effect of mobile voice or SMS reminders messages on health facility attendance
Endebu/2019/Ethiopia22HIV clients/420Cross-sectional, qualitative/questionnaire and FGD/random
  • Confidentiality

Acceptability and feasibility of SMS to improve ART medication adherence
  • FGD, Focus Group Discussion; ICT, Information Communication Technology; RCT, randomised control trial; SMS, short message service.