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Nudge me: tailoring text messages for prescription adherence through N-of-1 interviews.

Waughtal J, Luong P, Sandy L, Chavez C, Ho PM, Bull S. Nudge me: tailoring text messages for prescription adherence through N-of-1 interviews. Translational behavioral medicine. 2021 Oct 23; 11(10):1832-1838.

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Almost 50% of patients with cardiovascular diseases face challenges in taking medications and increased morbidity and mortality. Text messaging may impact medication refill behavior and can be delivered at scale to patients by texting mobile phones. To obtain feedback from persons with chronic conditions on the design of interactive text messages and determine language of message for making messages that can motivate patients to refill medications on time. We purposively sampled 35 English and Spanish speaking patients with at least one chronic condition from three large healthcare delivery systems to participate in N-of-1 video-based synchronous interviews. Research assistants shared ideas for theory-informed text messages with content intended to persuade patients to refill their medication. We transcribed recorded interviews and conducted a content analysis to identify strategies to employ generating a dynamic interactive text message library intended to increase medication refill. Those interviewed were of diverse age and race/ethnicity and typical of persons with multiple chronic conditions. Several participants emphasized that personally tailored and positively framed messages would be more persuasive than generic and/or negative messages. Some patients appreciated humor and messages that could evoke a sense of social support from their providers and rejected the use of emojis. Messages to remind patients to refill medications may facilitate improvements in adherence, which in turn can improve chronic care. Designing messages that are persuasive and can prompt action is feasible and should be considered given the ease with which such messages can be delivered automatically at scale.

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