Cell phone intervention to improve adherence: cystic fibrosis care team, patient, and parent perspectives

Kristen K Marciel, Lisa Saiman, Lynne M Quittell, Kevin Dawkins, Alexandra L Quittner
Pediatric Pulmonology 2010, 45 (2): 157-64

BACKGROUND: Treatment regimens for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are time-consuming and complex, resulting in consistently low adherence rates. To date, few studies have evaluated innovative technologies to improve adherence in this population. Current infection control guidelines for patients with CF seek to minimize patient-to-patient transmission of potential pathogens. Thus, interventions must avoid face-to-face contact and be delivered individually, limiting opportunities for peer support. This study aimed to develop and assess a web-enabled cell phone, CFFONE, designed to provide CF information and social support to improve adherence in adolescents with CF.

METHODS: The acceptability, feasibility, and utility of CFFONE were evaluated with health care professionals (n = 17) adolescents with CF aged 11-18 years old (n = 12), adults with CF aged 21-36 years old (n = 6), parents of adolescents with CF (n = 12), and technology experts (n = 8). Adolescents also tested a prototype of CFFONE (n = 9). Qualitative and quantitative data were collected.

RESULTS: Focus group data with health care professionals indicated a need for this intervention, and indicated that CFFONE would be likely to improve knowledge and social support, and somewhat likely to improve adherence. Adolescent, adults, and parents all rated CFFONE as likely to improve adherence. Technology experts rated the prototype design and format as appropriate.

CONCLUSIONS: The current study provided some support from key stakeholders for this intervention to improve adherence in adolescents with CF. Next steps include a multi-center trial of the efficacy and safety of CFFONE.

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