Use of Technology to Improve Healthcare Outcomes is the Need of the Hour!

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.05.01.Art012

Authors : Daniel Chirundu, Pamela N. Magande, Tapesana S., Gershem Madzingaidzo, Mduluza T


Introduction: Forgetfulness is often cited as a cause for non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy. High cell phones usage has provided opportunities for utilization of mhealth to improve health outcomes. Short message reminders can be used as a behavioral intervention to remind clients to take medication. It is against this background that we investigated the willingness of HIV clients on ART at Rimuka Clinic to receive SMS reminders for adherence.

Method: We used a cross sectional study design. We randomly selected 522 respondents from HIV clients registered at Rimuka Health Centre. Data were collected by means of a pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire and analyzed using Epi-Info 7 statistical software. Independent factors were identified using a stepwise backward logistic regression model.

Results: Five hundred and twenty-two respondents were recruited into the study. Respondents who reported owning a cell phone were 512 (92.75%). Ninety-seven (17.8%) reported a lost or damaged cell phone12 months prior to the study. Four hundred and ninety-nine respondents (97.4%) thought a text message could be useful in adherence to ART. However, 496 (97.06%) among those with cellphones were willing to be reminded by SMS to take their ART medication .Independent factors for willingness to receive SMS reminders were perceiving anti-retroviral therapy to be of benefit (a OR=0.2 p=0.04), having disclosed HIV status to family (a OR=5.37; p=0.04), indicating review schedules at 3 months (a OR=6.59; p=0.04), thinking text messages are helpful in adherence to ART (a OR=185.7; p<0.05), and using a cellphone as a medication reminder (a OR=4.8; p=0.03).

Conclusion: Clients attending Rimuka Clinic are willing to receive SMS reminders for adherence.

Keywords: Cellphone, SMS, ART, Rimuka Kadoma Adherence


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