Caregivers and Electronic Medication Monitoring in Chronic Kidney Disease

2014-07-24 14:06:52 | BioPortfolio


The objective of this pilot study is to explore barriers to medication adherence among HPHC members with CKD, particularly those not yet on dialysis, and to assess the feasibility and acceptability of a wireless, internet-based MedMinder system intervention among HPHC enrollees with CKD and their care partners. The investigators hypothesize that the intervention will improve medication use and adherence among patient members with CKD on complex medication treatment, and improve informal caregivers' ability to provide support for improved medication use among patient members.


Adherence to medications is critical in managing chronic disease, yet it remains an issue across chronic conditions. Poor medication adherence leads to deteriorating health and subsequently to increased costs as a result of higher hospitalizations rates. Medication adherence in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is especially important because successful treatment can slow the progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), yet little research has focused on adherence in patients with early CKD. Numerous barriers to medication adherence exist, including the prescription of complex medication regimens, the often asymptomatic nature of early CKD, and the lack of social support for treatment adherence. While technology and support-based interventions show promise, there currently is no gold-standard approach to improving medication adherence. Thus, it is essential to pursue novel interventions that address barriers for patients with CKD to improve medication adherence and slow the progression to ESRD.

The long-range goal of this application is to improve medication adherence in chronic illness through the development of effective interventions that capitalize on patients' medication-taking context. The objective of this application, which is the next step to achieving that goal, is to pilot test the impact and acceptability of the MedMinder, a pillbox device that transmits medication-taking data via a secure internet-interface to patients, family members, and care managers, in a group of adult, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) members with CKD. To achieve this objective, in partnership with HPHC, we will recruit 120 members with diagnosed CKD stage III or IV to participate in a 6-month pre-post randomized-controlled trial. Participants will be randomized to either receive use of the MedMinder over a six-month period with access to telephone care management, or receive usual care of regular pillboxes with access to telephone care management.

Our primary aim is to test the feasibility and acceptability of the MedMinder intervention. The main components of the intervention include: (1) a plastic weekly pill box with programmable visual and auditory cues to prompt medication use, (2) generation of missed-dose alerts that can be sent via email, text message, or telephone to patients, family members, and HPHC care managers, (3) a secure internet site that permits customization of alerts and has graphical representations of medication use, and (4) aggregate adherence reports available to CKD care managers for patients who are participating in HPHC care management.

Our secondary aim is to assess the impact and acceptability of family and friend involvement in CKD member medication taking. We will document family and friend activities related to medication taking, the acceptability of family and friend involvement in member medication taking, and the impact such involvement has on medication use.

Findings of this proposed project would provide information on the feasibility of a technology-based adherence intervention, with medication-taking support, in patients with chronic disease. The results from this pilot will inform a future application for a more adequately powered study examining the intervention and measurement of structured support from others in medication taking.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Supportive Care


Chronic Kidney Disease


Electronic Pillbox Monitoring System


Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
United States




Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:06:52-0400

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Conditions in which the KIDNEYS perform below the normal level for more than three months. Chronic kidney insufficiency is classified by five stages according to the decline in GLOMERULAR FILTRATION RATE and the degree of kidney damage (as measured by the level of PROTEINURIA). The most severe form is the end-stage renal disease (CHRONIC KIDNEY FAILURE). (Kidney Foundation: Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative, 2002)

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