Reasons for non-adherence to cardiometabolic medications, and acceptability of an interactive voice response intervention in patients with hypertension and type 2 diabetes in primary care: a qualitative study
Aikaterini Kassavou, Stephen Sutton
Objectives This study explored the reasons for patients’ non-adherence to cardiometabolic medications, and tested the acceptability of the interactive voice response (IVR) as a way to address these reasons, and support patients, between primary care consultations. Design, method, participants and setting The study included face-to-face interviews with 19 patients with hypertension and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus, selected from primary care databases, and presumed to be non-adherent. Thirteen of these patients pretested elements of the IVR intervention few months later, using a think-aloud protocol. Five practice nurses were interviewed. Data were analysed using multiperspective, and longitudinalthematic analysis. Results Negative beliefs about taking medications, the complexity of prescribed medication regimens, and the limited ability to cope with the underlying affective state, within challenging contexts, were mentioned as important reasons for non-adherence. Nurses reported time constraints to address each patient’s different reasons for non-adherence, and limited efficacy to support patients, between primary care consultations. Patients gave positive experiential feedback about the IVR messages as a way to support them take their medicines, and provided recommendations for intervention content and delivery mode. Specifically, they liked the voice delivering the messages and the voice recognition software. For intervention content, they preferred messages that were tailored, and included messages with ‘information about health consequences’, ‘action plans’, or simple reminders for performing the behaviour. Conclusions Patients with hypertension and/or type 2 diabetes, and practice nurses, suggested messages tailored to each patient’s reasons for non-adherence. Participants recommended IVR as an acceptable platform to support adherence to cardiometabolic medications between primary care consultations. Future studies could usefully test the acceptability, and feasibility, of tailored IVR interventions to support medication adherence, as an adjunct to primary care.