Text Messaging as a Method to Increase Oral Chemotherapy Adherence in Hispanic Cancer Populations
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Title: Text Messaging as a Method to Increase Oral Chemotherapy Adherence in Hispanic Cancer Populations: Patient and Provider Feasibility Surveys
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of conducting an interventional study to evaluate the effectiveness of text messaging as an intervention to improve medication adherence for Hispanic cancer patients receiving oral chemotherapeutic medication.
The specific aims of this study were:
- Elicit patient perspectives regarding the use of text messaging to improve oral chemotherapeutic adherence in Hispanic cancer patients.
- Survey providers involved in the treatment of cancer patients (medical oncologist, chemotherapy or clinic nurses, oncology psychologist, pharmacists, and patient navigators) to determine the feasibility of using text messaging to improve oral chemotherapeutic adherence in Hispanic cancer patients.
Methods: Eligibility criteria for patient participants were: 18 years and older, speak English, Hispanic, diagnosed with invasive cancer, and currently taking oral chemotherapy. Exclusion criteria were: unable to provide informed consent, and pregnant. Eligibility criteria for providers included: actively involved in cancer care delivery(e.g., medical oncologists, psychologists, pharmacists, oncology nurses, patient navigators, and/or social workers), over the age of 18, speak English, working at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC). There were 30 participants overall: 20 patient participants and 10 providers.
Principal findings of this exploratory study were:
A. Provider Results:
- The majority of providers reporedt that their patients sometimes forget to take their oral chemotherapy medication.
- Providers indicated that they do not currently use text messaging to communicate with their patients.
- Providers agreed that text messaging reminders would improve oral chemotherapy medication adherence.
B. Patient Results:
- 1 of 4 patients reported that they do not always take the scheduled oral chemotherapy medication.
- 3 of 4 patients reported that they never receive a reminder to take medications from their health provider.
- The majority of patients endorsed text messaging as a reminder to take oral chemotherapy medication.
Both patients and providers suggested strategies for developing and implementing text message reminders such specifying timing, frequency and content of culturally acceptable text messages.
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