Use reminders to improve treatment adherence

Obtain good treatment adherence it is a challenge that health-related disciplines have sought to improve upon for decades.

And it is that both when taking medication and during intervention or follow-up appointments, the dropout rate is very high, and the negative impact that this implies for health is known. WHO has warned in numerous publications about its importance, especially in the case of chronic diseases. What can we do about it?

    The causes of lack of adherence to treatment

    Several studies have analyzed the causes of this strong lack of adherence to treatment, finding five major factors:

    • socio-economic factors
    • Treatment factors
    • Patient factors
    • Factors related to the disease
    • Factors related to health equipment

    They all interact with each other and play a key role in the explanation why many patients end up dropping out of treatment they started, Even when they have already started to notice the beneficial effects.

    How to solve the problem? The power of reminders

    Among the strategies proposed to improve compliance, in 1988 a study published by Masur and Anderson analyzed the possibility of using reminders, Such as calling the patient by phone or sending a reminder card as part of behavioral techniques to improve adherence.

    With the advent of cell phones, various studies have studied the effectiveness of using reminders via text messages or daily alarms and, with smartphones, the possibility of using this type of resources via APP opens let them do this task.

    Several monographs such as SEFH 2017 and publication reviews highlight the importance of reminders as a means of increasing treatment adherence. A little detail on how to find a warning at the right time may result in continued treatment without interruption, Especially when you are several days in a row without direct contact with a health professional who is supervising our case.

    Therefore, all indications are that this type of simple stimuli is able to improve the degree of patient commitment to therapy.

    The case of mental health services

    Achieving better treatment adherence in mental health patients is particularly important, as studies in people in this group have provided evidence that depression, anxiety and stress are predictors of lower treatment adherence.

    Studies on the perception of patients who are provided with reminder tools show that the vast majority of them accept this type of help and are satisfied with it once started.

    The studies and reviews carried out also show the need to help adolescents and young people, more linked to new technologies, For whom support via mobile applications may be of particular interest not only as a means of reminding alarms, but as a means of receiving psychoeducational material or support from other people in their situation, factors which they also know to be relevant for treatment.

    PsicoReg: an application with multiple resources

    In this line, one of the applications that works very well is PsicoReg (psicoreg.com), a powerful tool that allows you to share psycho-educational material with the patient as well as memorize appointments via the app, create records, design task tracking, store medical history and also facilitates compliance with data protection regulations.

    With a simple and easy-to-use interface for both psychologist and patient, this app makes it possible to connect the two between sessions, so that the influence of psychotherapy is felt even when the person in need of professional help is not consultation. Resources like PsicoReg help patients build habits consistently over weeks and months, which is essential not only for them to continue seeing therapists, but also for the intervention to work and the person to see. improvement improve its quality of life.

    If you would like to learn more about the resources PsicoReg makes available to mental health professionals, access contact details for PsicoReg team members by clicking here.

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