According to a new research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), automated phone calls may be effective in assisting patients to take their medicines as prescribed.
A pilot study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge included 17 patients with high blood pressure (BP) recruited from general practices in the East of England. The patients were provided advice and support regarding taking their prescribed medications through daily automated telephone calls for a month. Patients were also asked some interactive questions and appropriate reactions were given to their responses.
The findings revealed that the calls assisted the patients in overcoming impediments in taking medications, including a busy schedule and multiple medications to take. Additionally, patients reported that the calls helped them to understand the significance of taking medication itself.
Researchers are planning to further test the intervention in a randomised controlled trial with a larger sample. Lead researcher, Dr. Katerina Kassavou from University of Cambridge, said: "The early signs are that this digital intervention is well liked by patients and could play an important role in helping patients manage their medicines. We now need to make sure it works in a wider population and to demonstrate that it is a cost-effective intervention."