Assessing the acceptability of a text messaging service and smartphone app to support patient adherence to medications prescribed for high blood pressure: A pilot study

Aikaterini Kassavou, Charlotte A Court, Jagmohan Chauhan , James Brimicombe, Debi Bhattacharya, Felix Naughton, Wendy Hardeman, Cecilia Mascolo, Stephen Sutton

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Abstract

Aims and objectives: This paper describes a pilot non-randomised controlled study of a highly tailored 56-day text messaging and smartphone app prototype intervention to increase adherence to anti-hypertensive medication in primary care. The aim of this study was to evaluate the acceptability of the intervention and obtain patients' views about the intervention content, the delivery mode, and the mechanisms by which the intervention supported medication adherence. Methods: Patients diagnosed with hypertension were invited and recruited to the study via general practice text messages and attended a face to face meeting with a member of the researcher team. Participants were asked to test the text messaging intervention for 28 consecutive days and switch to the smartphone app for 28 more days. Participants completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires and took part in semi-structured telephone interviews. Digital log files captured patients' engagement with the intervention. Participant transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise data from questionnaires and log files. A mixed methods analysis generated data to respond to the research questions. Results: Seventy-nine patients expressed interest to participate in this study, of whom 23 (64% male, 82% above 60 years old) were registered to take part. With one drop-out, 22 participants tested the text messaging delivery mode (with 20 being interviewed) and four of them (17%) switched to the app (with 3 being interviewed). All participants engaged and interacted with the text messages and app notifications, and all participants found the intervention content and delivery mode acceptable. They also self-reported that the interactive elements of the intervention motivated them to take their medications as prescribed. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the digital intervention is acceptable by hypertensive patients recruited in primary care. Future research could usefully investigate its feasibility and effectiveness using rigorous research methods. Trial registration: ISRCTN12805654

Original languageEnglish
Article number134
Number of pages14
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Acceptability
  • Digital intervention
  • Hypertension
  • Medication adherence
  • Primary care

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