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      Text Messaging to Improve Hypertension Medication Adherence in African Americans: BPMED Intervention Development and Study Protocol


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          Hypertension (HTN) is a major public health concern in the United States, with almost 78 million Americans age 20 years and over suffering from the condition. Moreover, HTN is a key risk factor for health disease and stroke. African Americans disproportionately shoulder the burdens of HTN, with greater prevalence, disease severity, earlier onset, and more HTN-related complications than age-matched whites. Medication adherence for the treatment of HTN is poor, with estimates indicating that only about half of hypertensive patients are adherent to prescribed medication regimens. Although no single intervention for improving medication adherence has emerged as superior to others, text message medication reminders have the potential to help improve medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN as mobile phone adoption is very high in this population.


          The purpose of this two-phased study was to develop (Phase I) and test in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (Phase II) a text message system, BPMED, to improve the quality of medication management through increasing medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN.


          In Phase I, we recruited 16 target end-users from a primary care clinic, to assist in the development of BPMED through participating in one of three focus groups. Focus groups sought to gain patient perspectives on HTN, medication adherence, mobile phone use, and the use of text messaging to support medication adherence. Potential intervention designs were presented to participants, and feedback on the designs was solicited. In Phase II, we conducted two pilot RCTs to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of BPMED in primary care and emergency department settings. Both pilot studies recruited approximately 60 participants, who were randomized equally between usual care and the BPMED intervention.


          Although data collection is now complete, data analysis from the two pilot RCTs is still ongoing and results are expected in 2015.


          This study was designed to determine preliminary feasibility and acceptability of our approach among African Americans with uncontrolled HTN in primary care and emergency department settings. Results from these studies are of great interest as little work has been done to document the use of text message medication reminders to improve HTN-related outcomes, particularly within underserved urban minorities.

          Trial Registration

          Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01465217; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01465217 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6V0tto0lZ).

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          Most cited references24

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          Predictive validity of a medication adherence measure in an outpatient setting.

          This study examines the psychometric properties and tests the concurrent and predictive validity of a structured, self-reported medication adherence measure in patients with hypertension. The authors also assessed various psychosocial determinants of adherence, such as knowledge, social support, satisfaction with care, and complexity of the medical regimen. A total of 1367 patients participated in the study; mean age was 52.5 years, 40.8% were male, 76.5% were black, 50.8% graduated from high school, 26% were married, and 54.1% had income <$5,000. The 8-item medication adherence scale was reliable (alpha=.83) and significantly associated with blood pressure control (P<.05). Using a cutpoint of <6, the sensitivity of the measure to identify patients with poor blood pressure control was estimated to be 93%, and the specificity was 53%. The medication adherence measure proved to be reliable, with good concurrent and predictive validity in primarily low-income, minority patients with hypertension and might function as a screening tool in outpatient settings with other patient groups.
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            Helping patients follow prescribed treatment: clinical applications.

            Low adherence to prescribed medical regimens is a ubiquitous problem. Typical adherence rates are about 50% for medications and are much lower for lifestyle prescriptions and other more behaviorally demanding regimens. In addition, many patients with medical problems do not seek care or drop out of care prematurely. Although accurate measures of low adherence are lacking for many regimens, simple measures, such as directly asking patients and watching for appointment nonattendance and treatment nonresponse, will detect most problems. For short-term regimens (< or =2 weeks), adherence to medications is readily achieved by giving clear instructions. On the other hand, improving adherence to long-term regimens requires combinations of information about the regimen, counseling about the importance of adherence and how to organize medication taking, reminders about appointments and adherence, rewards and recognition for the patient's efforts to follow the regimen, and enlisting social support from family and friends. Successful interventions for long-term regimens are all labor-intensive but ultimately can be cost-effective.
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              Deaths: final data for 2010.

              This report presents final 2010 data on U.S. deaths, death rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, and trends by selected characteristics such as age, sex, Hispanic origin, race, state of residence, and cause of death. Information reported on death certificates, which is completed by funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, and coroners, is presented in descriptive tabulations. The original records are filed in state registration offices. Statistical information is compiled in a national database through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Causes of death are processed in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision. In 2010, a total of 2,468,435 deaths were reported in the United States. The age-adjusted death rate was 747.0 deaths per 100,000 standard population, lower than the 2009 rate (749.6) and a record low rate. Life expectancy at birth rose 0.2 year, from 78.5 years in 2009 to a record high of 78.7 in 2010. Age-specific death rates decreased for each age group under 85, although the decrease for ages 1-4 was not significant. The age-specific rate increased for ages 85 and over. The leading causes of death in 2010 remained the same as in 2009 for all but one of the 15 leading causes. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids replaced Assault (homicide) as the 15th leading cause of death in 2010. The infant mortality rate decreased 3.8% to a historically low value of 6.15 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010. The decline of the age-adjusted death rate to a record low value for the United States, and the increase in life expectancy to a record high value of 78.7 years, are consistent with long-term trends in mortality.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications Inc. (Toronto, Canada )
                Jan-Mar 2015
                02 January 2015
                : 4
                : 1
                : e1
                [1] 1University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine Ann Arbor, MIUnited States
                [2] 2Wayne State University College of Nursing Detroit, MIUnited States
                [3] 3Wayne State University Department of Computer Science Detroit, MIUnited States
                [4] 4Wayne State University Department of Emergency Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute Detroit, MIUnited States
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Lorraine R Buis buisl@ 123456umich.edu
                Author information
                ©Lorraine R Buis, Nancy T Artinian, Loren Schwiebert, Hossein Yarandi, Phillip D Levy. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (http://www.researchprotocols.org), 02.01.2015.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 14 November 2014
                : 25 November 2014
                : 10 December 2014
                : 10 December 2014

                mobile phone,text messaging,hypertension,blood pressure,african americans,medication adherence,mobile health


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