23-Dec-14 9:45 AM  CST

Text Message Reminders May Lead to Better Patient Medication Compliance

Patients remembering to take their medications often hinders medication compliance. And while some may believe this is an issue relegated to the elderly population the truth is this problem exists across all demographics. It is estimated that nearly 1/3 of all patients are non-compliant with medication therapies simply because they forgot to take their medication or because they did not thoroughly understand how to take them. Successful treatment of the patient often depends on the patient’s compliance with medication therapies. If patients do not understand how to take their medications or cannot remember to take their medications treatment therapies may not have the full effect or further harm may come to the patient. For example it is essential that patients diagnosed with diabetes follow treatment therapies as prescribed. Forgetting to take medication or not understanding how to take their medication could lead to increased glucose levels or worse, ketoacidosis.

A recent study found that patients who were reminded of medication therapies via text message had a much better medication compliance rate than those who had no reminder. In fact it has been found that text messaging can reduce the rate of non-compliance to 1 in 10. In an age where technology invades every area of our lives, employing the use of text message to encourage patient medication compliance seems to be a viable answer.

This most recent study, which was published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS One) involve 300 individuals who took either an antihypertensive or and an antihyperlipidemic. The individuals were separated into two groups, one that would receive text message medication reminders and one that would receive no reminder. The group receiving the medication reminders were sent messages daily for the first 2 weeks, then every other day for 2 weeks and finally, 1 reminder a week for 6 months. 9% of those receiving the message remained non-compliant compared to 25% of those who received no message.





Brown, T., (2014) “Text message reminders increase patient compliance “Pharmacy Time, http://www.pharmacytimes.com/contributor/thora-brown-pharmd/2014/12/text-message-reminders-increase-medication-compliance, retrieved 13.December 2014


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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