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Understanding the use of contextual cues: Design implications for medication adherence technologies that support remembering

Stawarz, KM; Rodriguez, MD; Cox, A; Blandford, A; (2016) Understanding the use of contextual cues: Design implications for medication adherence technologies that support remembering. Digital Health 10.1177/2055207616678707. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Forgetfulness is one of the main reasons of unintentional medication non-adherence. Adherence technologies that help people remember to take their medications on time often do not take into account the context of people’s everyday lives. Existing evidence that highlights the effectiveness of remembering strategies that rely on contextual cues is largely based on research with older adults, and thus it is not clear whether it can be generalized to other populations or used to inform the design of wider adherence technologies that support medication self-management. Understanding how younger populations currently remember medications can inform the design of future adherence technologies that take advantage of existing contextual cues to support remembering. METHODS: We conducted three surveys with a total of over a thousand participants to investigate remembering strategies used by different populations: women who take oral contraception, parents and carers who give antibiotics to their children, and older adults who take medications for chronic conditions. RESULTS: Regardless of the population or the type of regimen, relying on contextual cues—routine events, locations, and meaningful objects—is a common and often effective strategy; combinations of two or more types of cues are more effective than relying on a single cue. CONCLUSIONS: To effectively support remembering, adherence technologies should help users recognize contextual cues they already have at their disposal and reinforce relevant cues available in their environment. We show that, given the latest developments in technology, such support is already feasible.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding the use of contextual cues: Design implications for medication adherence technologies that support remembering
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/2055207616678707
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/2055207616678707
Language: English
Additional information: Creative Commons Non Commercial CC-BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https:// us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Medication adherence; forgetfulness; contextual cues; technology; daily routines
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522125
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