Background: Mobile technology has increased the reach of health behavior interventions but raised new challenges in assessing the fidelity of treatment receipt. Fidelity can be compromised if participant fatigue or burden reduces engagement, leading to missed or delayed treatments for just-in-time interventions. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the temporal dynamics of text message receipt confirmations. Methods: Community-dwelling adults (N=10) were sent five text messages daily for 4 months (5598 messages sent in total), with a financial incentive to confirm receipt of 75% or more messages. Results: Overall, the message receipt confirmation rate was very high (5504/5598, 98.32%) and timely (eg, two-thirds of confirmations within 2 min). Confirmation times were slightly slower on weekends (vs weekdays) and as a function of the cumulative time in the study. Neither time of message delivery nor message content was associated with message confirmation latencies. Conclusions: Participants receiving financial incentives to confirm text message receipt exhibit extremely high and fast confirmation rates, although receipt confirmations were somewhat less timely on weekends (vs weekdays) and later in the intervention. The social calendar and treatment fatigue should be considered when planning text message–based interventions, especially if treatments are intended for a just-in-time delivery that requires extended engagement and precise timing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14270
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics


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