Mobile apps for increasing treatment adherence: Systematic review

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Background: It is estimated that 20% to 50% of patients do not take their medication correctly, and this leads to increased morbidity and inefficacy of therapeutic approaches. Fostering treatment adherence is a priority objective for all health systems. The growth of mobile apps to facilitate therapeutic adherence has significantly increased in recent years. However, the effectiveness of the apps for this purpose has not been evaluated. Objective: This study aimed to analyze whether mobile apps are perceived as useful for managing medication at home and if they actually contribute to increasing treatment adherence in patients. Methods: We carried out a systematic review of research published using Scopus, Cochrane Library, ProQuest, and MEDLINE databases and analyzed the information about their contribution to increasing therapeutic adherence and the perceived usefulness of mobile apps. This review examined studies published between 2000 and 2017. Results: Overall, 11 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The sample sizes of these studies varied between 16 and 99 participants. In addition, 7 studies confirmed that the mobile app increased treatment adherence. In 5 of them, the before and after adherence measures suggested significant statistical improvements, when comparing self-reported adherence and missed dose with a percentage increase ranging between 7% and 40%. The users found mobile apps easy to use and useful for managing their medication. The patients were mostly satisfied with their use, with an average score of 8.1 out of 10. Conclusions: The use of mobile apps helps increase treatment adherence, and they are an appropriate method for managing medication at home.




Pérez-Jover, V., Sala-González, M., Guilabert, M., & Mira, J. J. (2019, June 1). Mobile apps for increasing treatment adherence: Systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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