Effectiveness of a Theory-Based IVR Intervention to Improve Adherence to Controller Medications among Adults with Asthma

Fifty participants aged 18 to 65 years who had a physician diagnosis of asthma and a prescription for a daily inhaled corticosteroid, had a baseline visit with researchers and a final visit 10 weeks later. Participants randomized to the intervention group received 2 automated interactive voice response (IVR) telephone calls separated by one month, with one additional call if they reported recent symptoms of poorly controlled disease or failure to fill a prescription. Calls were completed in less than 5 minutes and included content designed to inquire about asthma symptoms, deliver core educational messages, encourage refilling of inhaled corticosteroid prescriptions, and increase communication with providers. Adherence was tracked during 10 weeks, with objective measures that included either electronic monitors or calculation of canister weight. Participants completed the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Asthma Control Test, and the Beliefs in Medications Questionnaire (BMQ) during both visits. Results indicated that the IVR intervention caused a significant increase in adherence to inhaled corticosteroid treatment and improved BMQ scores during the study interval. The association of increased adherence with increased BMQ scores suggests that the intervention succeeded in helping participants adopt a more favorable perception of their controller medication, leading in turn to improved adherence. To read the complete study, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, please click here.