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Acceptability of Mobile Phone Technology for Medication Adherence Interventions among HIV-Positive Patients at an Urban Clinic

DOI: 10.1155/2013/670525

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Abstract:

Mobile phone technology is increasingly used to overcome traditional barriers limiting access to care. The goal of this study was to evaluate access and willingness to use smart and mobile phone technology for promoting adherence among people attending an urban HIV clinic. One hundred consecutive HIV-positive patients attending an urban HIV outpatient clinic were surveyed. The questionnaire evaluated access to and utilization of mobile phones and willingness to use them to enhance adherence to HIV medication. The survey also included the CASE adherence index as a measure of adherence. The average age was 46.4 ( ). The majority of participants were males (63%), black (93%), and Hispanic (11.4%) and reported earning less than $10,000 per year (67.3%). Most identified themselves as being current smokers (57%). The vast majority reported currently taking HAART (83.5%). Approximately half of the participants reported some difficulty with adherence (CASE < 10). Ninety-six percent reported owning a mobile phone. Among owners of mobile phones 47.4% reported currently owning more than one device. Over a quarter reported owning a smartphone. About 60% used their phones for texting and 1/3 used their phone to search the Internet. Nearly 70% reported that they would use a mobile device to help with HIV adherence. Those who reported being very likely or likely to use a mobile device to improve adherence were significantly more likely to use their phone daily ( ) and use their phone for text messages ( ). The vast majority of patients in an urban HIV clinic own mobile phones and would use them to enhance adherence interventions to HIV medication. 1. Introduction Optimal adherence to HAART strongly predicts HIV viral suppression [1] and is linked to improved survival [2]. Low adherence to HAART in the United States is common with approximately only 50%–70% of prescribed doses taken [3, 4]. One meta-analysis found that those who participated in HAART-related adherence-enhancing interventions were significantly more likely to achieve 95% adherence and viral load suppression compared to the control condition [5]. A recent systematic review analyzed findings from 31 projects assessing use of SMS (short message service) technology, most for patients with HIV/AIDS in developing countries [6]; the findings pointed towards SMS as a promising and mostly well-accepted intervention strategy for use in healthcare. The utilization of technology-based health applications for disease prevention and management has been progressively explored and expanded upon [7–11]. Promising

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