Technological Innovations in Medication Packaging to Improve Patient Adherence: A Systematic Review

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Technological Innovations in Medication Packaging to Improve Patient Adherence: A Systematic Review

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Title: Technological Innovations in Medication Packaging to Improve Patient Adherence: A Systematic Review
Author: Checchi, Kyle D.
Citation: Checchi, Kyle D. 2015. Technological Innovations in Medication Packaging to Improve Patient Adherence: A Systematic Review. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Medical School.
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Abstract: Importance: Nonadherence to medications affects over one in four patients in the US, reaching
as high as 50% for many chronic drug regimens. One strategy to combat nonadherence may be
improved use of electronic medication packaging (EMP) devices built into the containers
through which pills, inhalers, or other products are dispensed.
Objective: To investigate whether EMP devices are effective in reducing medication
nonadherence, identify common features of successful EMP devices, and assess the potential for
this tool to reduce adverse outcomes related to nonadherence.
Evidence Acquisition: Peer-reviewed research testing the effectiveness of electronic medication
packaging was identified using a systematic literature search. The results describing the impact
of the interventions on adherence as well as other key findings were extracted, and each study
was formally assessed for bias using the guidelines outlined in the Cochrane Handbook for
Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Finally, the devices described in each study were
evaluated qualitatively in order to determine common features of EMP devices that may affect
adherence outcomes.
Results: A total of 37 studies met review criteria: 10 patient-interface-only “simple”
interventions and 29 studies of “complex” interventions (2 qualified for both categories) in
which the EMP devices were linked to care delivery by a physician, pharmacist, or other
caregiver. Few studies of simple EMP interventions (3/10, 30%) improved medication
adherence. By contrast, complex EMP interventions demonstrated improved adherence in a
majority of studies (20/29, 69%). My qualitative review identified 5 prominent characteristics of
EMP interventions: recording dosing events and storing a record of adherence, audiovisual
reminders to cue dosing, digital displays, real-time monitoring, and providing patients with
adherence performance feedback. Recording dosing events, digital displays, and providing
feedback were most frequently found in studies that led to improved medication adherence.
Conclusion and Relevance: This systematic review found that EMP devices can significantly
improve medication adherence, particularly those that are integrated into the care delivery
system and that are designed to record dosing events to give the opportunity for feedback. Well designed
EMP devices can help physicians and patients seeking strategies to promote medication
adherence.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17295905
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