Telehealth behavioral treatment for medication nonadherence: a pilot and feasibility study

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate an individually tailored multicomponent nonadherence treatment protocol using a telehealth delivery approach in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease.

Methods

Nine participants, age 13.71±1.35 years, completed a brief treatment online through Skype. Medication nonadherence, severity of disease, and feasibility/acceptability data were obtained.

Results

Adherence increased markedly from 62% at baseline to 91% for mesalamine (δ=0.63), but decreased slightly from 61% at baseline to 53% for 6-mercaptopurine /azathioprine. The telehealth delivery approach resulted in cost savings of $100 in mileage and 4 h of travel time/patient. Treatment session attendance was 100%, and the intervention was rated as acceptable, particularly in terms of treatment convenience.

Conclusion

Individually tailored treatment of nonadherence through telehealth delivery is feasible and acceptable. This treatment shows promise for clinical efficacy to improve medication adherence and reduce costs. Large-scale testing is necessary to determine the impact of this intervention on adherence and health outcomes.

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