Background Non-adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART) regimens is closely related to treatment failure and in response, researchers have developed interventions to improve adherence.
Purpose To determine the effect of sending mobile phone text messages to remind patients to get more medicines on the adherence to ART in HIV-infected patients.
Material and methods This was an interventional study carried out in HIV-infected outpatients who got their medicines from a hospital pharmacy service during 2012. The intervention group included patients who received mobile phone text messages to remind them to get more medicines during 2012. The control group only received standard pharmaceutical care. Data were collected retrospectively. Adherence to ART was compared between the two groups. ART adherence was measured through pharmacy dispensing records. Patients were considered adherent if ART adherence according to dispensing records was ≥95%. Data collected included age, gender, treatment-naïve status and type of ART. That was classified as: a) 2 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) plus 1-non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI); b) 2 NRTI plus 1 ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor (PI/r) and others.
To determine the effect of sending mobile text messages on the adherence to ART, we performed the chi-squared test. We used statistical package SPSS 20.0.
Results 120 patients were included. The median age was 47 years (IQR = 42.0–51.7). 68.3% of patients were men. No patients were new to treatment. The type of ART was similar in the two groups. The most frequent regimen consisted of the combination of NTRI plus NNRTI (47.5% and 38.6% in the intervention and control group, respectively). The percentage of adherent patients was significantly higher in the intervention group compared with the control group (83.9% vs. 63.8%; p = 0.013).
Conclusion Mobile phone text messaging can be an important tool to improve the adherence to ART in HIV-infected patients.
J Subst Abuse Treat 2014;46(1):66–73
ReferenceNo conflict of interest.