Using SMS as a tool to reduce exclusions experienced by caregivers of people with disabilities in a resource-limited Colombian community

Tim Barlott, Kim Adams, Francene Rodríguez Díaz, Mónica Mendoza Molina
2014 Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology  
Purpose: The community of El Codito, located in the mountainside on the perimeter of Bogota, Colombia, is considered one of the most vulnerable and resource-limited communities in the region. This community-based research (CBR) project used SMS messaging as a tool for information access and social interaction with caregivers of PWD. Method: Using a focused ethnographic method, this research evaluated the experience of caregivers participating in the project. In addition to primarily qualitative
more » ... imarily qualitative methods, supplementary quantitative message data was also collected. This project utilized free and open source software for SMS message distribution. Results: Caregivers experienced the project as a window to possibility; the possibility of a social support network, the possibility of community participation and the possibility of change. During the three-month implementation, a total of 56 information messages were sent to caregivers, 20 question messages were received from caregivers and 30 social interaction messages were sent by caregivers to the group. Conclusions: The proliferation of mobile phones in this resource-limited setting provided a feasible method for reducing the exclusion of PWD and caregivers. SMS was a useful tool for sharing information and reducing the isolation experienced by this socially excluded population.
doi:10.3109/17483107.2014.974223 pmid:25425412 fatcat:a3fnnn2ghrc7jg2rkncea4tawu