Text Messaging App Helps Monitor Endocrine Tx Adherence, Side Effects

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Bidirectional text-messaging system can monitor adherence and identify adverse effects
Bidirectional text-messaging system can monitor adherence and identify adverse effects

(HealthDay News) — For patients with breast cancer receiving endocrine therapy, daily bidirectional text messaging can monitor adherence and adverse events (AEs), according to a study published online May 23 in JCO: Clinical Cancer Informatics.

Sarah S. Mougalian, M.D., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues developed a bidirectional text-message application to track adherence, record symptoms, and alert the clinical team to therapy-related AEs. The intervention, which was piloted in 100 patients, included text messages to which patients responded for three months, assessing adherence, medication-related AEs, and barriers to adherence on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Eighty-nine patients completed the intervention.

The researchers found that 98 percent of patients reported that the intervention was easy to use and 96 percent reported that it was helpful for taking medication. Overall, four patients discontinued therapy before three months; of those who continued, 93 percent took ≥80 percent of their medication. The frequency of hot flashes, arthralgias, and vaginal symptoms as AEs reported via text messages was higher than that reported in clinical trials (72, 53, and 35 percent, respectively). About 39 percent of patients reported one or more severe AE, triggering an alert to the provider team who then contacted the patient.

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"AEs of endocrine therapy, as detected using this texting approach, are more prevalent than reported in clinical trials," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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