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One of the greatest challenges in medical treatment is adherence to prescribed recovery plans such as taking medications as directed. Data indicates that as many as one-third of patients do not take medications as prescribed whether by choice or neglect. In an effort to improve health outcomes, researchers tested the use of regular reminders to encourage patients to take medications as prescribed.
During the study, researchers split patients who were prescribed blood pressure and/or cholesterol medications into two groups. One group received reminders via text message to take their medications, while the other group received no reminders. If the contacted group did not respond, a follow up phone call was made to see if assistance was needed. The contacted group received reminders daily for two weeks. every other day for two weeks, then weekly for 6 months.
At the conclusion of the trial, it was found that 25% of the control group, those that received no reminders, failed to take their medications as prescribed. However, among those in the group receiving messages, only 9% stopped taking their medications as prescribed.
This study indicates that regular medication reminders can be helpful in prompting compliance with treatment plans.