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BACKGROUND: Current interventions to support medication adherence in people with type 2 diabetes are generally resource-intensive and ineffective. Brief messages, such as those delivered via short message service (SMS) systems, are increasingly used in digital health interventions to support adherence because they can be delivered on a wide scale and at low cost. The content of SMS text messages is a crucial intervention feature for promoting behavior change, but it is often unclear what the rationale is for chosen wording or any underlying mechanisms targeted for behavioral change. There is little guidance for developing and optimizing brief message content for use in mobile device-delivered interventions. OBJECTIVE: This review aimed to (1) identify theoretical constructs (ie, the targets that interventions aim to change) and behavioral strategies (ie, features of intervention content) found to be associated with medication adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes and (2) map these onto a standard taxonomy for behavior change techniques (BCTs, that is, active ingredients of interventions used to promote behavioral change, to produce an evidence-based set of approaches that have shown promise of improving adherence in previous studies and which could be further tested in digital health interventions. METHODS: A rapid systematic review of existing relevant systematic reviews was conducted. MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases were searched from inception to April 10, 2017. Inclusion criteria were (1) systematic reviews of quantitative data if the studies reviewed identified predictors of or correlates with medication adherence or evaluated medication adherence-enhancing interventions and included adult participants taking medication to manage a chronic physical health condition, and (2) systematic reviews of qualitative studies of experiences of medication adherence for adult participants with type 2 diabetes. Data were extracted on review characteristics and BCTs, theoretical constructs, or behavioral strategies associated with improved adherence. Constructs and strategies were mapped onto the BCT version 1 taxonomy. RESULTS: A total of 1701 references were identified; 25 systematic reviews (19 quantitative reviews, 3 qualitative reviews, and 3 mixed-method reviews) were included. Moreover, 20 theoretical constructs (eg, self-efficacy) and 19 behavioral strategies (eg, habit analysis) were identified in the included reviews. In total, 46 BCTs were identified as being related to medication adherence in type 2 diabetes (eg, habit formation, prompts or cues, and information about health consequences). CONCLUSIONS: We identified 46 promising BCTs related to medication adherence in type 2 diabetes on which the content of brief messages delivered through mobile devices to improve adherence could be based. By using explicit systematic review methods and linking our findings to a standardized taxonomy of BCTs, we have described a novel approach for the development of digital message content. Future brief message interventions that aim to support medication adherence could incorporate the identified BCTs.

Original publication

DOI

10.2196/10421

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Med Internet Res

Publication Date

09/01/2019

Volume

21

Keywords

diabetes mellitus, mHealth, medication adherence, self-management, systematic review, text messaging