the university of michigan

the university of michigan

mHealth-Enhanced Support from Informal Caregivers Improves Medication Adherence

11h ago
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Description

Speaker: James E. Aikens, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Department of Family Medicine and Faculty Affiliate, Center for Managing Chronic Disease University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Description: Although telemonitoring-assisted care management improves outcomes in many chronic conditions, creative strategies are needed to overcome logistical limitations in available personnel, health care finances, and technical support. Additionally, patients' in-home caregivers are often overburdened, prone to burnout, and coping with their own medical conditions. Recent and ongoing projects at the University of Michigan (Center for Center for Managing Chronic Disease, and the Department of Family Medicine) have used mobile health (mHealth) technologies to enable informal caregiver from outside the patient's home to support their medication adherence and self-management in real time. In this mHealth system, patients with diabetes, heart failure, or depression undergo weekly automated telephonic health assessments during which they hear problem-tailored messages about adherence and self-management. Their informal caregiver (a designated close friend or family member from outside their home) receives corresponding guidance on how to support the patient's self-management, while their clinician is notified about any medically-urgent situations. Our preliminary trials show that, compared to basic telemonitoring, incorporating informal caregivers into this system enhances medication adherence and illness self-management behaviors. If ultimately shown effective in our ongoing NIH-funded RCTs, then these and similar mHealth programs could be broadly implemented, have major public health impact, and be expanded to simultaneously address multiple chronic conditions.