Is smartphone app associated with medication adherence, blood pressure control?

April 16, 2018

BottomLine: Among patients with poorly controlled high blood pressure, those who used a smartphone application had a small improvement in self-reported medication adherence but no change in systolic blood pressure.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Medication nonadherence is a major factor that contributes to poorly controlled high blood pressure. Smartphone apps are touted as promising strategies to help people manage their blood pressure.

Who and When: 411 participants with poorly controlled high blood pressure and taking 1 to 3 antihypertensive medications were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial after recruitment through an online platform

What (Interventions and Outcomes):  209 participants took part in the intervention and were instructed to download the Medisafe app, which includes reminder alerts, adherence reports and optional peer support; 202 participants were in a control group for comparison and did not receive any intervention; primary outcomes were change from baseline to 12 weeks in self-reported medication adherence and change in systolic blood pressure

How (Study Design): This was a randomized clinical trial (RCT). RCTs allow for the strongest inferences to be made about the true effect of an intervention. However, not all RCT results can be replicated in real-world settings because patient characteristics or other variables may differ from those studied in the RCT.

Study Limitations: Recruitment was online; study results may not be generalizable to other people with poorly controlled high blood pressure; the intervention lasted 12 weeks and the study cannot determine long-term outcomes of the smartphone app; the study tested one app and the results may not be generalizable to other apps

Related Material: The invited commentary, "Building a Stronger Care Loop Through mHealth Technology," by Alexander G. Logan, M.D., and S. Vanita Jassal, M.D., of the University of Toronto, Canada, also is available on the For The Media website.

For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.

(doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0447)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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Want to embed a link to this study in your story?: Links will be live at the embargo time http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0447

Translation available: A simplified Chinese translation will be available.

JAMA Internal Medicine

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