A systematic review of electronic multi-compartment medication devices with reminder systems for improving adherence to self-administered medications

Mary Paterson, Kinnear Moira, Christine Bond, Brian McKinstry

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

Many patients experience difficulties adhering to medication
regimes. For people who forget or get confused about medication, there
are products to help them such as multi-compartment medication devices
(MMDs). Some of these, known as electronic MMDs (eMMDs), use audible
and/or visual signals to prompt the patient when to take medication,
dispense medications, give instructions to the patient, and contact a
caregiver (mobile internet or text to a carer) as needed.
Aim: To systematically review the literature on the use of eMMDs, to
determine what evidence for their effectiveness is available.
Methods: A comprehensive literature search of 10 databases, plus an
internet search and hand searching was conducted, using the MeSH terms
reminder systems/patient compliance/medication adherence. There were
no date restrictions. Inclusion criteria were patients in any community
setting, in any country and with no restrictions of age, gender, ethnicity or
medical condition, using an eMMD. Peer-reviewed quantitative or
qualitative studies of any design were included.
Results: Of 805 abstracts identified and 99 full text papers retrieved, six
met the inclusion criteria. Five of the studies reported adherence to
medication regimes; one reported design factors to improve adherence.
Adherence varied by the context of the reminders, the target group and
usability of the devices. The studies were small scale and only one was a
well conducted randomised controlled trial.
Conclusion: Overall methodological quality of the studies was poor.
Although positive effects on adherence were reported further, rigorously
conducted, studies are needed to inform the use of eMMDs
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Early online dateJan 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jan 2016

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