LOS ANGELES – A team of UCLA researchers have found that elderly African American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander patients with hypertension would benefit from a mobile health technology intervention to improve medication adherence, but the methods would have to be customized.
“Successful interventions need to be personalized to meet patient needs, come from a place of caring from a trusted person, and be short and simple to understand,” the researchers concluded in a paper recently published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
The goal of the study was to better understand the issues affecting the acceptability and usability of mHealth technology to improve medication adherence among these populations. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants.
Researchers found a number of similar themes among the patients, including: the need to teach participants about the importance of adherence to their medications; the use of mobile phones for messages and the patients’ need to be able to access ongoing technical support; and short, simple yet personalized messaging that comes from someone the participant trusts and with whom the patient has a connection.
African American participants expressed a desire to have their church be involved and to have the intervention begin with group workshops. They also said they would want the messages sent by someone outside of the health care system.
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander patients expressed a belief that the teaching could occur on a one-to-one basis with the health care provider. This group said they would want mobile messaging sent from their health care provider.