Mobile phones could play a valuable role in helping HIV patients to take their medication every day, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The researchers found that patients were less likely to miss doses if they were sent weekly mobile phone text message reminders. Text messaging is increasingly being used as a means of support in health care, including to help promote attendance at clinics and hospitals, and to increase contact between patients and care workers. There is also some evidence that text messaging helps tuberculosis patients to take their daily medication. Now researchers say text messaging could be used as a tool to help millions of HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) stick to these regimens. ART can help these patients to feel better and live longer, but often comes with side-effects that make it difficult for some patients to take the medication every day.
Only about 75 percent of HIV/AIDS patients in the United States remain in care consistently, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania published online this week in AIDS. The study of patients across the United States is the first to provide a comprehensive national estimate of HIV care retention and information about patients who are most likely to continue their treatment over time. "Helping patients with HIV stay in care is a key way to reduce their chances of getting sick from their disease and prevent the spread of HIV in the community. Our findings show that too many patients are falling through the cracks, " says the study's lead author, Baligh R. Yehia, MD, a fellow in the division of Infectious Disease and the Health Policy Research Program at Penn Medicine.
Leading AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins and other institutions around the world have issued new guidelines to promote entry into and retention in HIV care, as well as adherence to HIV treatment, drawn from the results of 325 studies conducted with tens of thousands of people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The guidelines are believed to be the first ever to focus exclusively on how best to get those newly diagnosed with HIV into treatment plans and to help them adhere to lifelong drug and check-up regimens. Some 50, 000 Americans each year are diagnosed with the potentially deadly, but now-treatable infection, and more than a million Americans already are known to be HIV positive. However, experts worry that barely two-thirds of Americans with HIV disease, some 69 percent, have ever used potent antiretroviral drug therapy, or ART, to keep viral levels in the blood low.
African-American patients with high blood pressure follow their medication regimen more effectively with a combination of positive affirmations and patient education, concludes a study published Online First in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In comparison to white people, African-Americans are disproportionately affected by hypertension. The authors state in the background information of the article, that a poorly adhered to medication regimen tends to explain poor blood pressure control, which can lead to cardiovascular problems and death. In a randomized controlled trial Gbenga O. Ogedegbe, M.D., of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change at NYU School of Medicine, and team examined 256 hypertensive African-Americans to assess whether it would be more effective in improving patients medication adherence, by providing patient education (PE), together with positive-affect induction and self-affirmation (PA), like receiving unexpected small gifts and incorporating positive thoughts or by offering PE alone.
When it comes to taking prescribed medications for hypertension, a patient's self confidence could be as important as doctor's orders. A new study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine reveals that positive affirmation, when coupled with patient education, seems to help patients more effectively follow their prescribed medication regimen. The study, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, appears online ahead of print in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. "As doctors, we're always trying to do the right thing for our patients and get them to do the right thing for themselves - change their habits, adopt healthier lifestyles, " said lead author Gbenga O. Ogedegbe, MD, of the Center for Healthful Behavior Change (CHBC) at NYU School of Medicine.