Cost-effectiveness of a mobile-phone text messaging intervention on type 2 diabetes—A randomized-controlled trial

Sheikh Mohammed Shariful Islam, Ralph Peiffer, Clara K. Chow, Ralph Maddison, Andreas Lechner, Rolf Holle, Louis Niessen, Michael Laxy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aims: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a mobile phone text messaging program for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: We performed a generalized cost-effectiveness analysis in a randomized controlled trial in Bangladesh. Patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized (1:1) to a text messaging intervention plus standard-care or standard-care alone. Intervention participants received a text message daily for 6 months encouraging healthy lifestyles. Costs to users and the health systems were measured. The EQ-5D-3L was used to measure improvements in health-related quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Intervention costs were expressed as average cost-effectiveness ratios (cost-per 1% unit-reduction in glycated haemoglobin HbA1c and cost per QALY gained), based on the World Health Organization cost effectiveness and strategic planning (WHO-CHOICE) method. Results: In 236 patients [mean age 48 (SD9.6) years] the adjusted difference in accumulated QALYs between the intervention and the control group over the 6-month period was 0.010 (95%CI: 0.000; 0.021). Additional costs per-patient averaged 24 international dollars (Intl.$), resulting in incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of 38 Intl.$ per % glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) reduction and 2406 Intl.$ per QALY gained. The total intervention costs for the mobile phone text messaging program was 2842 Int.$. Conclusion: Text messaging might be a valuable addition to standard treatment for diabetes care in low-resource settings and predicted to lead an overall saving in health systems costs. Studies with longer follow-up and larger samples are needed to draw reliable conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Chronic diseases
  • Economic evaluation
  • Health systems
  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • Quality-adjusted life years
  • Willingness-to-pay
  • mHealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Policy


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