Introduction: mHealth prompts (e.g., SMS, push notifications) are a commonly used behaviour change technique used to promote engagement in the behaviour change process. mHealth prompts are present in many diabetes prevention programs (DPPs). While mHealth prompts are convenient, and cost-effective, no reviews to date have examined their use within DPPs. This review aims to summarize how mHealth prompts are being developed and deployed in DPPs and provide recommendations for future mHealth prompt researchers.
Methods: This scoping review followed Arksey and O'Malley's methodology. Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and SportDiscus were search for studies using terms related to DPPs and mHealth prompts.
Results: 4325 sources were screened resulting in 44 publications (based on 33 studies) included in the final review. 73% of the studies used SMS as the mHealth prompt type. Majority of studies (70%) used mHealth prompts to supplement a larger DPP. Few studies provided information on: the theory use within prompts (30%), time of day messages were sent (30%), and rationale for timing or frequency of prompts (27%).
Conclusion: mHealth prompts are well-received by individuals at risk for developing type 2 diabetes; however, the results of mHealth prompts on behavioural outcomes are mixed. More thorough reporting of mHealth prompt content and delivery are needed, and more experimental evidence is needed to optimize the impact mHealth prompts can have within DPPs.