Scoping SMS text messaging to improve symptom management in palliative care patients in rural Uganda

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In January 2014 Dr Matthew Allsop, Research Fellow in Applied Health from Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds (UK), will be on placement with the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) to scope out the role of SMS text messaging for palliative care in Uganda.
As a starting point, the visit will aim to understand the possible role for SMS text messaging in Uganda to improve communication between rural patients and health professionals through discussions and meetings with potential stakeholders. Possible uses for SMS text messaging could include nurses utilising patient information from SMS text messages to target home visits and ensure they are carrying the right drugs, alongside empowering patient voices in their care. Once the context is better understood there may be opportunities to apply for research funding to pilot SMS interventions in palliative care.

Currently the January visit has been arranged to include meetings with health professionals and hospices in the areas surrounding Kampala, but it would be extremely helpful to liaise with individuals or groups that have explored SMS text messaging for oncology patients, or companies that have existing systems that can be used to support an SMS service in this region. Please contact me via email ( or phone (+44113 343 4185) if you would like to discuss this visit further, have suggestions for contacts to meet while on placement, or are willing to share your own experiences of similar projects ahead of my visit to the APCA.

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