Use of Brief Messages Based on Behavior Change Techniques to Encourage Medication Adherence in People With Type 2 Diabetes: Developmental Studies

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BACKGROUND: Brief messages are a promising way to improve adherence to medication for people with type 2 diabetes. However, it is often unclear how messages have been developed and their precise content, making it difficult to ascertain why certain messages are successful and some are not.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the research was to develop messages that have proven fidelity to specified evidence-derived behavior change techniques (BCTs) and are acceptable to people with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: Four studies were conducted: (1) a workshop (n=21) where behavioral change researchers and health care professionals developed messages based on specific BCTs or beliefs or concerns related to taking medication, (2) a focus group study with people with type 2 diabetes (n=23) to assess acceptability of the approach, (3) a survey to ascertain the acceptability of a subset of messages to people with type 2 diabetes (n=61) and, (4) a survey with behavior change researchers to assess the fidelity of a subset of messages to their intended BCT (n=18).

RESULTS: In study 1, 371 messages based on 38 BCTs and beliefs/concerns were developed. Workshop participants rated BCTs to be relevant to medication adherence (mean 7.12/10 [SD 1.55]) and messages to have good fidelity (mean 7.42/10 [SD 1.19]). In study 2, the approach of providing medication adherence support through text messages was found to be acceptable. In study 3, mean acceptability of all BCTs was found to be above the midpoint (mean 3.49/5 [SD 0.26]). In study 4, mean fidelity for all BCTs was found to be above the midpoint (mean 7.61/10 [SD 1.38]).

CONCLUSIONS: A library of brief messages acceptable to people with type 2 diabetes and representative of specific evidence-derived BCTs was developed. This approach allowed brief messages to be developed with known content that can be used to test theory.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e15989
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020