(HealthDay News) – Text messages (TM) for medication reminders and health education can improve adherence to antiplatelet therapy, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2013 Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 16–19 in Dallas.

Linda Park, PhD, from the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and colleagues assessed adherence to antiplatelet and statin therapy among patients after myocardial infarction and/or coronary stent procedure. Ninety patients (76% male; mean age, 59.2 years) were randomized to receive customized TM for medication reminders and health education (TM Reminders + TM Education); receive TM for health education (TM Education Alone); or not receive TM (No TM) for 30 days. Medication adherence was assessed with the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS), two-way TM response rates, and by self-report.

The researchers found that based on MEMS there was a significant difference between the groups in adherence for antiplatelets only. Compared with the No TM group, the TM Reminders + TM Education group had a significantly higher percentage of correct doses taken (88% vs. 72.4%) and percentage of prescribed doses taken on schedule (86.2% vs. 69%). Compared with the No TM group, the TM Education Alone group had a higher percentage of doses taken (95.8% vs. 79.1%). Higher two-way TM response rates were seen for antiplatelets vs. statins. For all groups there was an improvement in self-reported adherence over time, but no difference was seen among the groups.

“There is now a major initiative to apply more innovative technologies such as mHealth, eHealth, and telehealth to effectively intervene to promote medication adherence,” Park said in a statement.

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