Nursing Notes

November 20, 2010

Texting improves medication adherence, patient health

Texting on a keyboard phone
Image via Wikipedia

Here is an article that shows the way new technology can be integrated into plans of care to obtain positive outcomes.  With smart phones taking front stage, it was only a matter of time before the medical field discovered that these devices could be used to improve adherence and patient health outcomes.  This article is from FierceMobileHealthCare, which is a source I find useful and informative.  Please visit the site to see other really good articles.


Text messages containing both medication reminders and information about a specific skin condition helped greatly improve adherence to treatment regimens, self-care behaviors and quality of life while also lessening disease severity, according to a newly published scientific article in the journal Dermatology Research and Practice.

“It is not surprising that text messaging helped patients stick with their treatment plan and take their medication as prescribed,” Dr.  Joseph C. Kvedar, director of the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare System in Boston, says in a press release. “However, we went a step further by including educational information which, we believe, can lead to critical improvements in self-care behavior that were observed in this study.”

The Center for Connected Health says this is the first study to combine medication reminders with educational information in text messages.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital examined 25 adolescents and adults with a form of eczema called atopic dermatosis, and then sent the patients daily text messages for six weeks, reminding them to continue their prescribed treatment or offering information about the condition. Though at the outset, 92 percent of participants reported occasionally forgetting to take their medication–with nearly as many saying they would stop treatment when symptoms improved–by the end of the study, 68 percent reported an improvement in the number of self-care measures they performed.

After the six weeks, 76 percent of patients had seen an improvement in their skin condition and 72 percent said their quality of life was better. About 90 percent found the text messages helpful, and 84 percent would want to continue receiving the texts.

“Text messaging is a cost-effective way to deliver short, concise information to patients over a longer period of time, and because it is automated, requires no extra effort from the provider,” Kvedar says. “Our study also indicates that patients are willing and ready to integrate technology, such as text messaging, into their care. It can also help to improve communication between patients and providers.”

Read more: Texting improves medication adherence, patient health – FierceMobileHealthcare

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Physician Assistants, Deborah, RN, JD , RNchat, MD CHAT, Pathway Medical and others. Pathway Medical said: Texting improves medication adherence, patient health #ptsafetty #hcsm #casemanagement […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Texting improves medication adherence, patient health « Nursing Notes -- — December 1, 2010 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  2. This is a great article. Patients are more than ready to integrate technology into their lives. What is important though is to ensure that the solution ‘adheres’ to the patient’s lifestyle. At we ensure the solution is tailored to the patients compliance barrier using multiple technologies.

    Comment by Amos Adler — December 2, 2010 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

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