Development and piloting of a highly tailored digital intervention to support adherence to antihypertensive medications as an adjunct to primary care consultations
Aikaterini Kassavou, Vikki Houghton, Simon Edwards, James Brimicombe, Stephen Sutton
Objectives: This paper describes the systematic development and piloting of a highly tailored text and voice message intervention to increase adherence to medication in primary care. Methods: Following the Medical Research Council guidance, this paper describes (a) the systematic development of the theoretical framework, based on review of theories and meta-analyses of effectiveness; (b) the systematic development of the delivery mode, intervention content and implementation procedures, based on consultations, face-to-face interviews, think-aloud protocols, focus groups, systematic reviews, patient and public involvement/engagement input, intervention pre-test; and (c) the piloting of the intervention, based on a 1-month intervention; and follow-up assessment including interviews and questionnaires. The mixed-methods analysis combined findings from the parallel studies complementarily. Results: intervention development suggested the target behaviour of the intervention should be the tablets taken at a regular time of the day. It recommended that patients could be more receptive to intervention content when they initiate medication taking or they change prescription plan; and more emphasis is needed to patients’ consent process. Intervention piloting suggested high intervention engagement with, and fidelity of, the intervention content; which included a combination of behaviour change techniques, and was highly tailored to patients’ beliefs and prescription plan. Patients reported that the intervention content increased awareness about the necessity to take and maintain adherent to medication, reinforced social support and habit formation, and reminded them to take medication as prescribed. Conclusion: Tailored automated text and voice message interventions are feasible ways to improve medication adherence as an adjunct to primary care.