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Perceptions and experiences of using mobile technology for medication adherence among older adults with coronary heart disease: A qualitative study.



Medication non-adherence is linked to adverse clinical outcomes (i.e. rehospitalization, mortality) among patients with coronary heart disease. Given its global adoption and growing popularity among older adults, mobile technology may be an effective strategy to improve medication adherence. The aim of this article is to present the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs of individuals with coronary heart disease about using text messaging and mobile phone applications for medication adherence.


We recruited 28 participants (veterans and non-veterans) with a history of coronary heart disease and antiplatelet medication use in Northern California. We formed six focus groups of individuals who participated in three sessions (total 18 sessions). We analyzed our data using grounded theory.


The median age was 69.5 ± 10.8 years for non-veterans (50% male) and 70 ± 8.6 years for veterans (100% male). In the first session, we found that participants perceived text message reminders as a convenient, easy, and flexible tool to establish a routine for taking medications. In the second session, participants were eager to use applications for their greater interactivity, individualized health monitoring, and personalized medication information. The third session, participants shared preferred features (i.e. drug interactions, tracking symptoms) after using two applications at home for 2 weeks.


Older adults are engaged and can be proficient mobile technology users. Text messaging and mobile phone applications are perceived as helpful tools for medication adherence. Future research should include rigorous clinical trials to test the efficacy of mobile health technology to promote medication adherence in populations that require strict medication adherence.

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