Patient and provider perspectives on cellular phone-based technology to improve HIV treatment adherence

Amy S Baranoski, Elizabeth Meuser, Helene Hardy, Elizabeth F Closson, Matthew J Mimiaga, Steven A Safren, Pushwaz Virk, Rowena Luk, Paul R Skolnik, Vikram S Kumar
AIDS Care 2014, 26 (1): 26-32
Innovative techniques, potentially using technology, to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) may help patients with HIV who struggle with self-care. This qualitative study compared patient and provider participants' perspectives on ART adherence and text messaging as a tool to promote adherence. Thirteen providers and 14 HIV-infected patients identified four main themes: (1) facilitators, (2) barriers to using text message reminders as a medium for ART medication reminders, (3) framing of text message reminders, and (4) patient responsibility and autonomy in the management of their health and wellness. Ease of use, access, convenience, and confidentiality were cited as benefits of a text message-based adherence intervention; while access, cost, difficulty manipulating cellular phones, lack of knowledge/education, and confidentiality were cited as potential barriers. Providers, but not patients, also identified patient apathy and time burden as potential barriers to a text message-based adherence reminder system. Patients and providers felt that personalization of messages, attention to timing, and confidentiality of messages were key factors for a successful text message-based adherence reminder system. Both providers and patients felt that patient responsibility and autonomy over an individual's own health care is an important issue in adherence to medical care. The majority of patients and providers felt that a text message-based adherence reminder system would be beneficial. While patients and providers had many similar views on factors influencing adherence with ART and the use of text messaging to improve adherence, there were some divergent views between the two groups.

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