Electronic Reminders Up Meds Adherence in Short Term

Electronic reminders, especially SMS reminders, are effective in short term for chronic medications

MONDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The use of electronic reminders (short message service [SMS] reminders, electronic reminder devices, or pagers) is associated with improved adherence to chronic medications in the short term, according to a review published online April 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Marcia Vervloet, Ph.D., of the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research in Utrecht, and associates conducted a comprehensive literature search to investigate the effectiveness of automatic electronic reminders for improving patient adherence to chronic medications.

The researchers identified 13 studies which met the inclusion criteria (four used SMS reminders, seven used electronic reminder devices, two used pagers). Based on eight studies (four high quality, four low quality), the best evidence synthesis demonstrated the effectiveness of electronic reminders, with significant effects on adherence. Seven of these studies measured short-term effects. Improved adherence was seen in three studies using SMS, four using electronic recording devices, and one using pagers. Subgroup effects were seen in one high-quality study using an electronic recording device.

"This review provides evidence for the short-term effectiveness of electronic reminders, especially SMS reminders," the authors write. "However, long-term effects remain unclear."

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