Background: Medication adherence is critical for patient treatment. This study involved evaluating how
implementing Short Message Service (SMS) reminders affected patient medication adherence and related factors.
Methods: We used a structured questionnaire to survey outpatients at three medical centers. Patients aged
20 years and older who were prescribed more than 7 days of a prescription medication were randomized into SMS
intervention or control groups. The intervention group received daily messages reminding them of aspects
regarding taking their medication; the control group received no messages. A phone follow-up was performed to
assess outcomes after 8 days. Data were collected from 763 participants in the intervention group and 435
participants in the control group.
Results: After participants in the intervention group received SMS reminders to take medication or those in the
control group received no messages, incidences of delayed doses were decreased by 46.4 and 78.8% for those in
the control and intervention groups, respectively. The rate of missed doses was decreased by 90.1% for participants
in the intervention group and 61.1% for those in the control group. We applied logistic regression analysis and
determined that participants in the intervention group had a 3.2-fold higher probability of having a decrease in
delayed doses compared with participants in the control group. Participants in the intervention group also showed
a 2.2-fold higher probability of having a decrease in missed doses compared with participants in the control group.
Conclusions: Use of SMS significantly affected the rates of taking medicine on schedule. Therefore, daily SMS could
be useful for reminding patients to take their medicine on schedule.
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making,13:127.