SMS Nudges as a Tool to Reduce Tuberculosis Treatment Delay and Pretreatment Loss to Follow-up: A Randomized Controlled Trial 2017-2018
Other Household Health Survey
This is the microdataset used in the paper "SMS nudges as a tool to reduce Tuberculosis treatment delay and pretreatment loss to follow-up. A randomized controlled trial". We fielded two SMS interventions in three Cape Town clinics to see their effects on whether people returned to clinic, and how quickly. One was a simple reminder; the other aimed to overcome “optimism bias” by reminding people TB is curable and many millions die unnecessarily from it. Recruits were randomly assigned at the clinic level to a control group or one of the two SMS groups (1:2:2). In addition to estimating effects on the full sample, we also estimated effects on HIV-positive patients.
Kind of Data
Clinical data [cli]
Unit of Analysis
The dataset includes: outcomes (whether the patient returned to get their TB test results and if so how quickly); information on demographics, education, housing, family circumstances etc.; intervention group assignment; HIV status; and whether the intervention was delivered correctly (an exclusion variable for the per-protocol analysis).
3 clinics in Greater Cape Town
Producers and sponsors
Eddy Van Doorslaer
South Africa Development Fund
WHO Strengthening Implementation Grant
Erasmus Trust Fund - Research for Health Impact in Africa
Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
National Research Foundation SA
Patients not already being treated for TB arriving in TB waiting rooms of 3 clinics. Aimed to recruit > 90% of new patients over recruitment period. Inclusion criteria: Adult, provided consent, not already on treatment, waiting for a TB test or just had a TB test. Exclusion criteria: Adult, refused consent, already on treatment, not waiting for a TB test or just had a TB test. Recruitment was from 2 October 2017 until 15 December 2017. Fieldworkers continued visiting clinics and phoning patients until mid-February 2018 to collect data on patients’ return-to-clinic date, test results and treatment start date.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Computer Assisted Personal Interview [capi]
Multiple fieldworkers were used overseen by a project coordinator overseen in turn by co-PI Prof. Ronelle Burger. Fieldworkers collected initial and follow-up data in tablets, and uploaded the data to a central server. The project coordinator undertook the randomization to the control and two treatment groups as described in the paper.
Data Collection Notes
Initial data collected through CAPI interview at time of recruitment. Data on return-to-clinic date were obtained via fieldworker interactions with returning patients in the TB waiting room, conversations with clinic staff, and where necessary, phone follow-up conversations with patients and inspection of clinic records. HIV status was obtained by matching between our dataset and the PREHMIS and ETR.Net datasets as described in the paper. The data for the exclusion criteria for the per-protocol analysis were obtained from the records of the bulk SMS provider used to send the SMS messages,
CAPI interview at recruitment was based on a long questionnaire only a few questions from which were used in the present study. The questionnaire is therefore not attached to the current dataset.
Data-cleaning was done by staff at Stellenbosch University and the World Bank.
The analysis of the data was done primarily by Co-PI Adam Wagstaff.
Eddy van Doorslaer
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Before being granted access to the dataset, all users have to formally agree:
1. To make no copies of any files or portions of files to which s/he is granted access except those authorized by the data depositor.
2. Not to use any technique in an attempt to learn the identity of any person, establishment, or sampling unit not identified on public use data files.
3. To hold in strictest confidence the identification of any establishment or individual that may be inadvertently revealed in any documents or discussion, or analysis. Such inadvertent identification revealed in her/his analysis will be immediately brought to the attention of the data depositor.
- Public use files, accessible to all
Wagstaff, A. (World Bank), Ronelle Burger (Stellenbosch University), and Eddy Van Doorslaer (Erasmus University). 2019. SMS Nudges as a Tool to Reduce Tuberculosis Treatment Delay and Pretreatment Loss to Follow-up; A Randomized Controlled Trial (SMSTB-RCT) 2017-2018. REF: ZAF_2017_SMSTB-RCT_v01_M. Downloaded from [url] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
Development Economics Data Group
The World Bank
Documentation of the DDI
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 01 (March 2019)