Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) demonstrate persistent knowledge gaps regarding their condition and a substandard adherence to oral anticoagulant (OAC) medication, which contribute to thromboembolic stroke and other clot-related complications. Tailored patient education and medication reminders may help reduce these negative health outcomes. We sought to improve disease knowledge and medication adherence among a sample of AF patients using tailored education and nudges. The intervention leveraged three digital health technologies: a patient portal, an electronic-prescribing data feed, and a smart pill bottle. The content of the educational messaging, nudges, and cadence were tailored according to findings from our user-centered design studies and delivered via a patient portal (MyChart®; Epic Systems, Verona, WI, USA), with which participants were familiar. In a six-month randomized controlled trial with parallel groups, we used MyChart® to send educational messages and medication reminders according to a decision tree that emerged from our prior user-centered design studies. The intervention group demonstrated higher AF knowledge at study completion than the control group and more MyChart® logins throughout the trial, suggesting intervention uptake. Women were more adherent than men and patients diagnosed more than one year ago were more adherent than those with more recent diagnoses. The intervention and control group adherence rates were 93.1% and 89.5%, respectively; intervention effect was moderated by age, medication type, and prior MyChart® use. Within the intervention group, younger patients, those taking once-daily rivaroxaban, and those who were less active MyChart® users prior to the study benefited relative to their control group counterparts. Tailored educational and reminder messages contributed to increased adherence and disease knowledge among AF patients, though certain patient characteristics moderated the intervention's effectiveness. Technology-based health interventions can be useful for older adults with effective tailoring and training.
J Innov Card Rhythm Manag
Toscos, Tammy PhD; Coupe, Amanda; Wagner, Shauna; Ahmed, Ryan; Roebuck, Amelia; Flanagan, Mindy; Drouin, Michelle; and Mirro, Michael MD, "Engaging Patients in Atrial Fibrillation Management via Digital Health Technology: The Impact of Tailored Messaging." (2020). Health Services and Informatics Research. 9.