PhD student Zhao Ni, faculty members Qing Yang and Ryan Shaw and staff member Christian Douglas recently published an article entitled "An mHealth intervention to improve medication adherence among patients with coronary heart disease in China: Development of an intervention" in the International Journal of Nursing Sciences. Co-authors include Changqing Liu and Bei Wu.
Objectives: With this study, we aimed to develop a mobile technology (mHealth) intervention to improve medication adherence among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods: The study was conducted in two phases with CHD patients from a Cardiology Department of a hospital located in China. Each phase was independent from the other. Phase 1 tested the integration of the two apps — “WeChat” and “BB Reminder” — as an mHealth intervention. All participants received the same educational materials via WeChat every two days. Participants in the experimental group received a reminder from BB Reminder for every dose of their medications. The duration of Phase 1 was 30 days for each participant. Phase 2 refined the intervention, in which educational materials were sent every five days rather than every two days, and medication-taking reminders were sent daily rather than every dose.
Results: In Phase 1, an mHealth intervention was developed by integrating two mobile apps. In Phase 2, medication adherence increased at 30-day follow-up in both groups compared to baseline. At the 30-day follow-up, the mean of the decrease in medication non-adherence score in the experimental group (M = −1.35, SD = 2.18, n = 36) was more than the decrease in control group (M = −0.69, SD = 1.58, n = 36), which means the medication adherence improved more in the experimental group.
Conclusion: The feasibility of using mHealth to remind CHD patients to take their medications is high.