The Smart-Phone Application Follow-up System for Medication Compliance in Patients with Depression
Objective: To evaluate the influence of a Smart-Phone Application (APP) Follow-up System (SPAFS) on medication compliance in patients treated for depression. Methods: Subjects aged 16-65 years old with depressive disorder, who regularly took antidepressant medications for at least one month were recruited from the Peking University Sixth Hospital and Beijing Hui Long Guan Hospital from July 1st, 2014, to April 30th, 2015. Two groups of patients were evaluated: SPAFS group (were willing to be online anytime, who received APP) and control group (agreed to adhere to traditional psychological clinical follow-up procedures). Results: One hundred and twenty-one patients were investigated, 57 in the SPAFS group (intervention group) and 64 in the control group. At the end of the 6-month follow-up, 17 patients in the control group and 4 patients in the intervention group discontinued their medication; there was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05). In the self-assessment of medication compliance, the scores in the intervention group (8.44±1.31) were significantly higher than those in the control group (6.95±2.73). The medication discontinuation rate in the intervention group was lower than that in the control group(P<0.05). The SDS scores in the intervention group were lower than those in the control group (P<0.05). The self-reported medication compliance scores in the intervention group were higher than those in the control group (P<0.05). The most common reasons for medication discontinuation in the control group were forgetting to take the medication, concerns about brain damage from long-term medication use, and the personal decision to discontinue medications when the medical condition appeared to improve. Conclusion: This study showed that the SPAFS improved medication compliance during the follow-up period in patients treated for depression.