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Uganda – Challenges in Using Mobile Phones for Data Collection

AIDS Behav. 2010 Jun 8.

Challenges in Using Mobile Phones for Collection of Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Data in a Resource-Limited Setting.

Haberer JE, Kiwanuka J, Nansera D, Wilson IB, Bangsberg DR. Department of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, jhaberer@partners.org.

Frequent antiretroviral therapy adherence monitoring could detect incomplete adherence before viral rebound develops and thus potentially prevent treatment failure. Mobile phone technologies make frequent, brief adherence interviews possible in resource-limited settings; however, feasibility and acceptability are unknown. Interactive voice response (IVR) and short message service (SMS) text messaging were used to collect adherence data from 19 caregivers of HIV-infected children in Uganda.

IVR calls or SMS quantifying missed doses were sent in the local language once weekly for 3-4 weeks. Qualitative interviews were conducted to assess participant impressions of the technologies. Participant interest and participation rates were high; however, weekly completion rates for adherence queries were low (0-33%), most commonly due to misunderstanding of personal identification numbers. Despite near ubiquity of mobile phone technology in resource-limited settings, individual level collection of healthcare data presents challenges. Further research is needed for effective training and incentive methods.

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  1. September 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Great series of posts on mobile phones and health! I have re-posted them at http://www.pradical.org.

  1. September 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm

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