The Effect of Interactive Reminders on Medication Adherence: A Randomized Trial

Dai, H., Mao, D., Volpp, K., Pearce, H.E, Relish, M.J., Lawnicki, V.F., & Milkman, K.L. (2017). The Effect of Interactive Reminders on Medication Adherence: A Randomized Trial. Preventive Medicine, 103, 98-102.

9 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2017 Last revised: 8 Jan 2019

See all articles by Hengchen Dai

Hengchen Dai

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

David Mao

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania

Heather Pearce

Humana Inc.

Michael Relish

Humana Inc.

Victor Lawnicki

Humana Inc.

Katherine L. Milkman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Date Written: August 13, 2017

Abstract

Expanding on evidence that interventions to improve health are more effective when informed by behavioral science, we explore whether reminders designed to harness behavioral science principles can improve medication adherence. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with 46,581 U.S. participants with commercial or Medicare Advantage insurance from Humana. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. Participants in the usual care condition only received standard mailings that the insurer usually sends. In addition to the standard mailings, participants in the other three conditions also received (1) mailings that reminded them to take a target medication (basic reminder condition), (2) reminders that prompted them to predict their medication adherence in the next 30 days (prediction condition), or (3) reminders that prompted them to commit to a self-determined level of adherence for the next 30 days (commitment condition). We sent these mailings once a month for three months from November, 2014 through January, 2015, and tracked prescription refills. We find that, during the mailing period, reminders increased adherence by 0.95 percentage points (p < 0.05), and this effect was driven by the prediction and commitment conditions; during the three-month post-mailing period, reminders increased adherence by 0.98 percentage points (p < 0.05), and this effect was driven by the basic reminder and commitment conditions. The reminders increased medication adherence by 0.7 pills per dollar spent over our 181 day study period.

Keywords: Reminder Systems, Communication, Behavioral; Medication Adherence, Health Promotion

Suggested Citation

Dai, Hengchen and Mao, David and Volpp, Kevin and Pearce, Heather and Relish, Michael and Lawnicki, Victor and Milkman, Katherine L., The Effect of Interactive Reminders on Medication Adherence: A Randomized Trial (August 13, 2017). Dai, H., Mao, D., Volpp, K., Pearce, H.E, Relish, M.J., Lawnicki, V.F., & Milkman, K.L. (2017). The Effect of Interactive Reminders on Medication Adherence: A Randomized Trial. Preventive Medicine, 103, 98-102.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022695 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3022695

Hengchen Dai (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

David Mao

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Heather Pearce

Humana Inc. ( email )

500 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
United States

Michael Relish

Humana Inc. ( email )

500 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
United States

Victor Lawnicki

Humana Inc. ( email )

500 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
United States

Katherine L. Milkman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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