Access to technology and preferences for an mHealth intervention to promote medication adherence in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Approach leveraging behavior change techniques

Mallorie B. Heneghan*, Tasmeen Hussain, Leonardo Barrera, Stephanie W. Cai, Maureen Haugen, Elaine Morgan, Jenna Rossoff, Joanna Weinstein, Nobuko Hijiya, David Cella, Sherif M. Badawy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Suboptimal adherence to 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) is prevalent in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and associated with increased risk of relapse. Rapid uptake of personal technology makes mobile health (mHealth) an attractive platform to promote adherence. Objective: Study objectives were to examine access to mobile technology and preferences for an mHealth intervention to improve medication adherence in pediatric ALL. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered in oncology clinic to parents of children with ALL as well as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with ALL receiving maintenance chemotherapy. Results: A total of 49 parents (median age [IQR] 39 [33-42] years; female 76% [37/49]) and 15 patients (median age [IQR] 17 [16-19]; male 80% [12/15]) participated. All parents and AYAs owned electronic tablets, smartphones, or both. Parents' most endorsed mHealth app features included a list of medications (71%, 35/49), information about 6-MP (71%, 35/49), refill reminders (71%, 35/49), and reminders to take 6-MP (71%, 35/49). AYAs' most endorsed features included refill reminders (73%, 11/15), reminders to take 6-MP (73%, 11/15), and tracking 6-MP (73%, 11/15). Conclusions: Parents and AYAs reported ubiquitous access to mobile technology and strong interest in multiple adherence-specific mHealth app features. Parents and AYAs provided valuable insight into preferred features for a multifunctional behavioral intervention (mHealth app) to promote medication adherence in pediatric ALL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere24893
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Behavior change technique
  • MHealth
  • Medication adherence
  • Oral chemotherapy
  • Patient-centered

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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