Information needs and perceptions of chatbots for hypertension medication self-management: A mixed methods study

Ashley C. Griffin*, Zhaopeng Xing, Sean P. Mikles, Stacy Bailey, Jaime Arguello, Yue Wang, Arlene E. Chung, Saif Khairat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Chatbots have potential to deliver interactive self-management interventions but have rarely been studied in the context of hypertension or medication adherence. The objective of this study was to better understand patient information needs and perceptions of chatbots to support hypertension medication self-management. Materials and Methods: Mixed methods were used to assess self-management needs and preferences for using chatbots. We purposively sampled adults with hypertension who were prescribed at least one medication. Participants completed questionnaires on sociodemographics, health literacy, self-efficacy, and technology use. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and qualitative data were analyzed using applied thematic analysis. Results: Thematic saturation was met after interviewing 15 participants. Analysis revealed curiosity toward chatbots, and most perceived them as humanlike. The majority were interested in using a chatbot to help manage medications, refills, communicate with care teams, and for accountability toward self-care tasks. Despite general enthusiasm, there were concerns with chatbots providing too much information, making demands for lifestyle changes, invading privacy, and usability issues with deployment on smartphones. Those with overall positive perceptions toward chatbots were younger and taking fewer medications. Discussion: Chatbot-related informational needs were consistent with existing self-management research, and many felt chatbots would be valuable if customizable and compatible with patient portals, pharmacies, or health apps. Conclusion: Although most were not familiar with chatbots, patients were interested in interacting with them, but this varied. This research informs future design and functionalities of conversational interfaces to support hypertension self-management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberooab021
JournalJAMIA Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • chatbot
  • conversational agent
  • hypertension
  • mobile health
  • self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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