Adherence to treatment regimes is a crucial factor in ensuring that anti-retroviral medications and tuberculosis therapy are effective. Unfortunately, insuffient adherence or non-compliance – that is irregular taking of medications, or none at all when symptoms disappear – is common in HIV/AIDS and TB patients. This leads to treatment failure, morbidity and the development of drug resistance.
To address this very problem, there are countless pilot projects and exploratory studies that are testing the role of text message-based reminder systems to improve drug-taking compliance amongst HIV/AIDS and TB patients. The hope is to push for large scale behavior change – a daunting and challenging task in and of itself, with or without technology. One of the key prerequisites for success is to understand cultural promoters and barriers of behavior change.
This research slidecast is a brief look at participatory research involving HIV/AIDs patients in Peru and their preferences for such a text message reminder system. Dr. Curioso and colleagues from the University of Washington and Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia presented the study at the American Medical Informatics Association Symposium in 2009.
Curioso WH, Quistberg DA, Cabello R, Gozzer E, Garcia PJ, Holmes KK, Kurth AE. "It´s time for your life": How should we remind patients to take medicines using short text messages? AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2009; pgs 129-133. Full text available here (PDF)