When Texting Remember Spelling Counts So Does Punctuation and Grammar

Muench, Stolk-Cooke, Morgenstern, et. al. out of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons have published an original paper “Understanding Messaging Preferences to Inform Development of Mobile Goal-Directed Behavioral Interventions”.

The goal of this study was to determine what if any were global messaging preferences existed for various types of language content. In other words do readers of text messages prefer certain words and linguistic style when seeking to achieve a personal goal.

Results of this study indicate that there are clear user preferences for certain types of message characteristics over others, underscoring the importance of attention to message structure, linguistic content, and overall tone in the development of messages for goal-directed behaviors.

Participants indicated an overwhelming preference for messages that were accurately spelled and grammatically correct over messages that included textese or contained grammatical errors.

The more we know about the why people search and use the Internet for healthcare and understand how these same individuals respond to new information the better we can be at delivering knowledge and guiding learning. Which in the end is what healthcare is about transferring HCP knowledge to the patients in order to drive behavioral changes and improve outcomes. 

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