Text reminders raise medication adherence in Medicare patients by 14%

Utilizing the mPulse Mobile interactive text messaging application resulted in a 14 percent increase in medication adherence in partially or nonadherent Medicare patients, according to a study published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth.

Patients with chronic conditions who do not adhere to medication schedules experience lower quality outcomes. While text messages can be used as a cost-effective method of reminding patients, research into their impact on adherence rates is lacking. In this study, researchers evaluated the feasibility and effectiveness of a personalized, interactive text messaging system to improve refill rates in partially or nonadherent Medicare patients.

Researchers used mPulse Mobile on partially adherent and nonadherent Medicare patients to compare refill rates of a text message group of 12,272 with a control group of 76,068 who did not receive text messages. All participants had experience with other forms of refill and adherence reminders like phone calls, emails and robo-calls.

Results showed a 14.1 percent increase in refill rates in the text message group when compared to refill rates of the control group.

“The results showed a strong benefit of using this text messaging solution to improve medication refill rates among Medicare patients. These findings also support using interactive text messaging as a cost-effective, convenient, and user-friendly solution for patient engagement,” concluded first author Rena Brar Prayaga, MA, JD, and colleagues. “Program outcomes and insights can be used to enhance the design of future text-based solutions to improve health outcomes and promote adherence and long-term behavior change.”