Patients' Experiences of Using Smartphone Apps to Support Self-Management and Improve Medication Adherence in Hypertension: Qualitative Study.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Worldwide, hypertension control rates remain suboptimal despite clinically effective antihypertensive drug therapy. Patient failure to take medication as prescribed (ie, nonadherence) is the most important factor contributing to poor control. Smartphone apps can facilitate the delivery of evidence-based behavior change techniques to improve adherence and may provide a scalable, usable, and feasible method to deliver self-management support. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study is to explore patients' experiences of the usability and feasibility of smartphone apps to support self-management and improve medication adherence in hypertension. METHODS:A qualitative descriptive study was conducted. A total of 11 people living with hypertension from the West of Ireland were sampled purposively and interviewed about their experience of using a self-management app for a 4-week period, which included two key functionalities: self-monitoring of blood pressure (BP) and medication reminders. Thematic analysis was carried out on the semistructured interview data. RESULTS:Participants' age ranged from 43 to 74 years (mean 62 years, SD 9.13). Three themes were identified: digital empowerment of self-management, human versus digital systems, and digital sustainability. Although patients' experience of using the technology to self-monitor BP was one of empowerment, characterized by an enhanced insight and understanding into their condition, control, and personal responsibility, the reminder function was only feasible for patients who reported unintentional nonadherence to treatment. Patients experienced the app as a sustainable tool to support self-management and found it easy to use, including those with limited technological competence. CONCLUSIONS:The study's findings provide new insights into the experience of using apps to support medication adherence in hypertension. Overall, the data support apps as a usable and feasible method to aid self-management of hypertension and highlight the need for personalized functionality, particularly with regard to medication adherence reminder strategies. The study's findings challenge the perspective that the use of these technologies to support self-management can inevitably add to the burden of treatment experienced by patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Smartphone apps are becoming increasingly popular for supporting diabetes self-management. A key aspect of diabetes self-management is appropriate medication-taking. This study aims to systematically assess and characterise the medication management features in diabetes self-management apps and their congruence with best-practice evidence-based criteria. METHODS:The Google Play and Apple app stores were searched in June 2018 using diabetes-related terms in the English language. Apps with both medication and blood glucose management features were downloaded and evaluated against assessment criteria derived from international medication management and diabetes guidelines. RESULTS:Our search yielded 3369 Android and 1799 iOS potentially relevant apps; of which, 143 apps (81 Android, 62 iOS) met inclusion criteria and were downloaded and assessed. Over half 58.0% (83/143) of the apps had a medication reminder feature; 16.8% (24/143) had a feature to review medication adherence; 39.9% (57/143) allowed entry of medication-taking instructions; 5.6% (8/143) provided information about medication; and 4.2% (6/143) displayed motivational messages to encourage medication-taking. Only two apps prompted users on the use of complementary medicine. Issues such as limited medication logging capacity, faulty reminder features, unclear medication adherence assessment, and visually distracting excessive advertising were observed during app assessments. CONCLUSIONS:A large proportion of diabetes self-management apps lacked features for enhancing medication adherence and safety. More emphasis should be given to the design of medication management features in diabetes apps to improve their alignment to evidence-based best practice.
Project description:Importance:Medication nonadherence accounts for up to half of uncontrolled hypertension. Smartphone applications (apps) that aim to improve adherence are widely available but have not been rigorously evaluated. Objective:To determine if the Medisafe smartphone app improves self-reported medication adherence and blood pressure control. Design, Setting, and Participants:This was a 2-arm, randomized clinical trial (Medication Adherence Improvement Support App For Engagement-Blood Pressure [MedISAFE-BP]). Participants were recruited through an online platform and were mailed a home blood pressure cuff to confirm eligibility and to provide follow-up measurements. Of 5577 participants who were screened, 412 completed consent, met inclusion criteria (confirmed uncontrolled hypertension, taking 1 to 3 antihypertensive medications), and were randomized in a ratio of 1:1 to intervention or control. Interventions:Intervention arm participants were instructed to download and use the Medisafe app, which includes reminder alerts, adherence reports, and optional peer support. Main Outcomes and Measures:Co-primary outcomes were change from baseline to 12 weeks in self-reported medication adherence, measured by the Morisky medication adherence scale (MMAS) (range, 0-8, with lower scores indicating lower adherence), and change in systolic blood pressure. Results:Participants (n = 411; 209 in the intervention group and 202 controls) had a mean age of 52.0 years and mean body mass index, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, of 35.5; 247 (60%) were female, and 103 (25%) were black. After 12 weeks, the mean (SD) score on the MMAS improved by 0.4 (1.5) among intervention participants and remained unchanged among controls (between-group difference: 0.4; 95% CI, 0.1-0.7; P = .01). The mean (SD) systolic blood pressure at baseline was 151.4 (9.0) mm Hg and 151.3 (9.4) mm Hg, among intervention and control participants, respectively. After 12 weeks, the mean (SD) systolic blood pressure decreased by 10.6 (16.0) mm Hg among intervention participants and 10.1 (15.4) mm Hg among controls (between-group difference: -0.5; 95% CI, -3.7 to 2.7; P = .78). Conclusions and Relevance:Among individuals with poorly controlled hypertension, patients randomized to use a smartphone app had a small improvement in self-reported medication adherence but no change in systolic blood pressure compared with controls. Trial Registration:clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02727543.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Digital health tools (WeChat or mobile health apps) provide opportunities for new methods of hypertension management for hypertensive patients. However, the willingness of these patients to use social media and mobile health apps for hypertension management remains unclear. This study explored the characteristics and requirements of patients willing to use digital health (WDH) tools to manage hypertension. METHODS:From February to March 2018, we administered questionnaires to 1089 patients with hypertension at eight Chinese primary medical units. We assessed independent risk factors of WDH and requirement among WDH patients. RESULTS:Overall, 43% (465/1089) of participants were WDH patients, who were younger (58?±?12 vs 61?±?13?years) and had a greater proportion of employed individuals (31% vs 14%) and higher education levels (65% vs 52%) than the non-WDH patients (all P?<?0.0001). After adjusting for other risk factors, higher education (OR: 0.52; 95% CI: 0.34-0.79), good medicine adherence (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.0-2.3) and blood pressure self-monitoring (OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.2-2.3) remained significantly associated with WDH (all P?<?0.05). WDH patients responded that digital health tools should try to provide a platform for blood pressure monitoring (42%), medication reminders (41%), hypertension knowledge (39%) and doctor-patient communication (32%). CONCLUSION:Our survey suggested that among hypertensive patients, willingness to use digital health tools was significantly associated with education, medicine adherence and blood pressure self-monitoring. Digital health tool developers and researchers should pay particular attention to recruiting older, less educated and unemployed patients with less willingness and who are less technologically savvy and research the requirements of WDH patients (blood pressure monitoring, medication reminders, and knowledge education) in the future.
Project description:Medication nonadherence poses a serious and a hard-to-tackle problem for many chronic diseases. Electronic health (eHealth) apps that foster patient engagement and shared decision making (SDM) may be a novel approach to improve medication adherence.The aim of this study was to investigate the perspective of health care professionals regarding a newly developed digital app aimed to improve medication adherence. Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) was chosen as a case example.A Web-based prototype of the eHealth app-MIK-was codesigned with patients and health care professionals. After user tests with patients, we performed semistructured interviews and user tests with 12 physicians from 6 different hospitals to examine how the functionalities offered by MIK could assist physicians in their consultation and how they could be integrated into daily clinical practice. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to identify themes that covered the physicians' evaluations.On the basis of the interview data, 3 themes were identified, which were (1) perceived impact on patient-physician collaboration; (2) perceived impact on the patient's understanding and self-management regarding medication adherence; and (3) perceived impact on clinical decisions and workflow.The eHealth app MIK seems to have the potential to improve the consultation between the patient and the physician in terms of collaboration and patient engagement. The impact of eHealth apps based on the concept of SDM for improving medication-taking behavior and clinical outcomes is yet to be evaluated. Insights will be useful for further development of eHealth apps aimed at improving self-management by means of patient engagement and SDM.
Project description:Medication adherence is an expensive and damaging problem for patients and health care providers. Patients adhere to only 50% of drugs prescribed for chronic diseases in developed nations. Digital health has paved the way for innovative smartphone solutions to tackle this challenge. However, despite numerous apps available claiming to improve adherence, a thorough review of adherence apps has not been carried out to date.The aims of this study were to (1) review medication adherence apps available in app repositories in terms of their evidence base, medical professional involvement in development, and strategies used to facilitate behavior change and improve adherence and (2) provide a system of classification for these apps.In April 2015, relevant medication adherence apps were identified by searching the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store using a combination of relevant search terms. Data extracted included app store source, app price, documentation of health care professional (HCP) involvement during app development, and evidence base for each respective app. Free apps were downloaded to explore the strategies used to promote medication adherence. Testing involved a standardized medication regimen of three reminders over a 4-hour period. Nonadherence features designed to enhance user experience were also documented.The app repository search identified a total of 5881 apps. Of these, 805 fulfilled the inclusion criteria initially and were tested. Furthermore, 681 apps were further analyzed for data extraction. Of these, 420 apps were free for testing, 58 were inaccessible and 203 required payment. Of the 420 free apps, 57 apps were developed with HCP involvement and an evidence base was identified in only 4 apps. Of the paid apps, 9 apps had HCP involvement, 1 app had a documented evidence base, and 1 app had both. In addition, 18 inaccessible apps were produced with HCP involvement, whereas 2 apps had a documented evidence base. The 420 free apps were further analyzed to identify strategies used to improve medication adherence. This identified three broad categories of adherence strategies, reminder, behavioral, and educational. A total of 250 apps utilized a single method, 149 apps used two methods, and only 22 apps utilized all three methods.To our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically review all available medication adherence apps on the two largest app repositories. The results demonstrate a concerning lack of HCP involvement in app development and evidence base of effectiveness. More collaboration is required between relevant stakeholders to ensure development of high quality and relevant adherence apps with well-powered and robust clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of these interventions. A sound evidence base will encourage the adoption of effective adherence apps, and thus improve patient welfare in the process.
Project description:Nonadherence reduces glaucoma treatment efficacy. Motivational interviewing (MI) is a well-studied adherence intervention, but has not been tested in glaucoma. Reminder interventions also may improve adherence.201 patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension were urn-randomised to receive MI delivered by an ophthalmic technician (OT), usual care or a minimal behavioural intervention (reminder calls).Outcomes included electronic monitoring with Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) bottles, two self-report adherence measures, patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes. Multilevel modelling was used to test differences in MEMS results by group over time; ANCOVA was used to compare groups on other measures.Reminder calls increased adherence compared to usual care based on MEMS, p = .005, and self-report, p = .04. MI had a nonsignificant effect but produced higher satisfaction than reminder calls, p = .007. Treatment fidelity was high on most measures, with observable differences in behaviour between groups. All groups had high baseline adherence that limited opportunities for change.Reminder calls, but not MI, led to better adherence than usual care. Although a large literature supports MI, reminder calls might be a cost-effective intervention for patients with high baseline adherence. Replication is needed with less adherent participants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The efficacy of a highly tailored digital intervention to support medication adherence and feasibility to support clinical effectiveness as an adjunct to the primary care setting has not been evaluated. OBJECTIVE:This trial aimed to assess the behavioral efficacy of a highly tailored digital intervention to support medication adherence and to evaluate the feasibility of its clinical effectiveness, in patients with either or both hypertension and type 2 diabetes. We also examined quality of life and mechanisms of behavior change. Intervention fidelity, engagement, and satisfaction were also explored. METHODS:This was a multicenter, individually randomized controlled trial of 2 parallel groups: an intervention group that received a highly tailored text message and interactive voice response intervention for 12 weeks, and a control group that received usual care. Medication adherence was measured using self-reports and assessor-blinded practice records of a repeat prescription. Systolic blood pressure and glucose levels were assessed by nurses blinded to group allocation during practice visits at 3 months follow-up. Questionnaires obtained data to assess intervention mechanisms of action and satisfaction and digital log files captured data to evaluate fidelity and engagement. RESULTS:A total of 135 nonadherent patients (62/135, 46% female; 122/135, 90.3%; aged above 50 years) were randomly allocated in the intervention (n=79) or in the control group (n=56); of whom 13% (18/135) were lost at follow-up. Medication adherence was significantly improved in the intervention group compared with the control group (t116=2.27; P=.02, 2-tailed). Systolic blood pressure was 0.6 mmHg (95% CI -7.423 to 6.301), and hemoglobin A1c was 4.5 mmol/mol (95% CI -13.099 to 4.710) lower in the intervention group compared with the control group. Changes in intentional nonadherence and nonintentional nonadherence explained the improvements in medication adherence in the intervention group (beta=.074, SE=0.464; P=.04), but not in the control group (beta=.00, SE 1.35; P=.37). The intervention had 100% fidelity, a median of 12 days of engagement, and 76% overall satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS:Our trial is the first that has been conducted in the United Kingdom and showed that among nonadherent patients with either or both hypertension and type 2 diabetes, a highly tailored digital intervention was effective at improving treatment adherence and feasible to obtain clinically meaningful outcomes. Changes in intentional and nonintentional nonadherence predicted the improvements in medication adherence. The intervention had high fidelity, engagement, and satisfaction. Future research using a rigorous design is needed to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention in primary care. TRIAL REGISTRATION:International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 10668149; http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN10668149.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The growing number of smartphone health applications available in the app stores makes these apps a promising tool to help reduce the global problem of non-adherence to long-term medications. However, to date, there is limited evidence that available medication reminder apps are effective. This study aims to determine the impact of medication reminder apps on adherence to cardiovascular medication when compared with usual care for people with coronary heart disease (CHD) and to determine whether an advanced app compared with a basic app is associated with higher adherence. METHODS AND ANALYSIS:Randomised controlled trial with follow-up at 3 months to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of medication reminder apps on medication adherence compared with usual care. An estimated sample size of 156 patients with CHD will be randomised to one of three groups (usual care group, basic medication reminder app group and advanced medication reminder app group). The usual care group will receive standard care for CHD with no access to a medication reminder app. The basic medication reminder app group will have access to a medication reminder app with a basic feature of providing simple daily reminders with no interactivity. The advanced medication reminder app group will have access to a medication reminder app with additional interactive and customisable features. The primary outcome is medication adherence measured by the eight-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale at 3 months. Secondary outcomes include clinical measurements of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and medication knowledge. A process evaluation will also be performed to assess the feasibility of the intervention by evaluating the acceptability, utility and engagement with the apps. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION:Ethical approval has been obtained from the Western Sydney Local Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee (AU/RED/HREC/1/WMEAD/3). Study findings will be disseminated via usual scientific forums. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ACTRN12616000661471; Pre-results.
Project description:Smartphone apps can be a tool to facilitate independent medication management among persons with developmental disabilities. At present, multiple medication management apps exist in the market, but only 1 has been specifically designed for persons with developmental disabilities. Before initiating further app development targeting this population, input from stakeholders including persons with developmental disabilities, caregivers, and professionals regarding the most preferred features should be obtained.The aim of this study was to identify medication management app features that are suitable to promote independence in the medication management process by young adults with developmental disabilities using a Delphi consensus method.A compilation of medication management app features was performed by searching the iTunes App Store, United States, in February 2016, using the following terms: adherence, medication, medication management, medication list, and medication reminder. After identifying features within the retrieved apps, a final list of 42 features grouped into 4 modules (medication list, medication reminder, medication administration record, and additional features) was included in a questionnaire for expert consensus rating. A total of 52 experts in developmental disabilities, including persons with developmental disabilities, caregivers, and professionals, were invited to participate in a 3-round Delphi technique. The purpose was to obtain consensus on features that are preferred and suitable to promote independence in the medication management process among persons with developmental disabilities. Consensus for the first, second, and third rounds was defined as ≥90%, ≥80%, and ≥75% agreement, respectively.A total of 75 responses were received over the 3 Delphi rounds-30 in the first round, 24 in the second round, and 21 in the third round. At the end of the third round, cumulative consensus was achieved for 60% (12/20) items in the medication list module, 100% (3/3) in the medication reminder module, 67% (2/3) in the medication administration record module, and 63% (10/16) in the additional features module. In addition to the medication list, medication reminder, and medication administration record features, experts selected the following top 3 most important additional features: automatic refills through pharmacies; ability to share medication information from the app with providers; and ability to share medication information from the app with family, friends, and caregivers. The top 3 least important features included a link to an official drug information source, privacy settings and password protection, and prescription refill reminders.Although several mobile apps for medication management exist, few are specifically designed to support persons with developmental disabilities in the complex medication management process. Of the 42 different features assessed, 64% (27/42) achieved consensus for inclusion in a future medication management app. This study provides information on the features of a medication management app that are most important to persons with developmental disabilities, caregivers, and professionals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Optimal management of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, often include prescription medications. Medication adherence (MA) is one component of self-management. Optimization through digital health-eHealth and mHealth-could enhance patient awareness and/or communication between the patient and provider. OBJECTIVE:Medication adherence is a major issue that affects 50%-60% of chronically ill adults. Digital health refers to eHealth and mHealth, collectively, and as these technologies become more accessible, remote health delivery is increasingly available as an adjunct to improve medication adherence; communicate with patients and providers; and provide education to patients, families, and communities. The objective of this integrative review was to examine the types of digital health technologies that targeted medication adherence in the adult population with diabetes or hypertension. METHODS:An integrative review was conducted using databases within EBSCOhost, PubMed, and Scopus. Eligible studies available as of September 2016 had to be written in English, had to contain digital health interventions to improve medication adherence to prescription medications in adults 18 years or older, and had to focus on diabetes or hypertension. RESULTS:Of the 337 located studies, 13 (3.9%) used a digital health intervention for medication adherence to prescribed medications for diabetes or hypertension and were assessed according to the Chronic Care Model. CONCLUSIONS:The 13 studies included in this review found no conclusive evidence of improved medication adherence using digital health interventions such as interactive voice response (IVR), short message service (SMS) text messaging, telemonitoring, and interactive software technology. Among the 13 studies were digital health interventions that foster medication adherence via one-way communication to the patient or two-way communication between the patient and health care provider for adjunct medication adherence strategies. More research is needed to determine which digital health interventions are most beneficial for individuals with diabetes or hypertension.