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Pilot Study of Annie Text Messaging for Depression Treatment Adherence

October 28, 2019


The VA Office of Research and Development is hosting a study on antidepressant medications for veterans. The study uses text messages to promote self-care in veterans using antidepressants. By adhering to the text messages, researchers hope to improve the rates at which veterans take their antidepressants and the medications’ effectiveness. English-speaking VA providers are invited to provide care for study participants.


Study Information

The study analyzes veterans who have recently begun taking an antidepressant medication prescribed by the Iowa VA primary care or mental health. Participants will be randomly assigned to 1 of 2 intervention groups:

  • Intervention group 1 – be educated on depression and why it’s important to take medication
  • Intervention group 2 – receive text messages of information and questions on medication effectiveness from “Annie”. They will also receive weekly progress review phone call.


Inclusion Criteria

  • All sexes, ages 18 and older
  • VA patient
  • Diagnosed with depression
  • Beginning or changing to a new antidepressant medication
  • Cell phone with text messaging capabilities
  • Registered with My HealtheVet
  • Follow-up appointment with their provider in the next 12 weeks
  • Internet access


Exclusion Criteria

  • Anyone under the age of 18
  • Lack of cell phone access/willingness to receive text messages
  • Diagnosis of cognitive disorders, psychotic disorders, or bipolar disorder
  • Have active substance abuse



The study is being held at the Iowa City VA Health Care System in Iowa City, Iowa, 52246-2208. If you have any questions feel free to contact Bonnie J BootsMiller, PhD, at 319-338-0581 ext. 4938 or at You may also contact John E Holman, MA MA at (319) 338-0581 ext. 7507 or at



This clinical trial is sponsored by the VA Office of Research and Development and Carolyn L Turvey, PhD MS serves as the Principal Investigator.

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