Patient and practitioner views on a combined face-to-face and digital intervention to support medication adherence in hypertension: A qualitative study within primary care

Miranda van Emmenis, James Jamison, Aikaterini Kassavou, Wendy Hardeman, Felix Naughton, Charlotte A. Court, Stephen Sutton, Helen Eborall

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Abstract

Objectives To explore patients' and healthcare practitioners' (HCPs) views about non-adherence to hypertension medication and potential content of a combined very brief face-to-face discussion (VBI) and digital intervention (DI). Methods A qualitative study (N=31): interviews with patients with hypertension (n=6) and HCPs (n=11) and four focus groups with patients with hypertension (n=14). Participants were recruited through general practices in Eastern England and London. Topic guides explored reasons for medication non-adherence and attitudes towards a potential intervention to support adherence. Stimuli to facilitate discussion included example SMS messages and smartphone app features, including mobile sensing. Analysis was informed methodologically by the constant comparative approach and theoretically by perceptions and practicalities approach. Results Participants' overarching explanations for non-adherence were non-intentional (forgetting) and intentional (concerns about side effects, reluctance to medicate). These underpinned their views on intervention components: messages that targeted forgetting medication or obtaining prescriptions were considered more useful than messages providing information on consequences of non-adherence. Tailoring the DI to the individuals' needs, regarding timing and number of messages, was considered important for user engagement. Patients wanted control over the DI and information about data use associated with any location sensing. While the DI was considered limited in its potential to address intentional non-adherence, HCPs saw the potential for a VBI in addressing this gap, if conducted in a non-judgemental manner. Incorporating a VBI into routine primary care was considered feasible, provided it complemented existing GP practice software and HCPs received sufficient training. Conclusions A combined VBI-DI can potentially address intentional and non-intentional reasons for non-adherence to hypertension medication. For optimal engagement, recommendations from this work include a VBI conducted in a non-judgmental manner and focusing on non-intentional factors, followed by a DI that is easy-to-use, highly tailored and with provision of data privacy details about any sensing technology used.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere053183
JournalBMJ Open
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • hypertension
  • primary care
  • public health
  • qualitative research

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