Medicine Adherence for Patients Support (MAPS)
The researchers had devised a series of text and voice messages to remind patients to take their medication. This intervention was created to help those who forget or needed support to adhere to a routine to take their medication.
The research team were not sure if the messages were of the right tone or if the nature of delivery would be acceptable or viewed as intrusive. Their research aimed to gather views of patients on long term medication asking them to trial the system and then attend a focus group to collect their views. Ultimately they wanted to provide evidence to support this intervention for patients who forget to take their medication.
The CUH PPI Panel were involved in reviewing the Patient Information Sheets (PIS) and Consent Forms and two individuals who already take medications long term volunteered to test run the intervention and focus group discussion.
This feedback and early testing allowed the research team to make changes to the PIS and consent forms. The feedback drew out some issues around patient confidentiality and recruitment of patients through their GP. The trial of the messaging and the test run of the focus groups helped the team to modify the intervention and provide them with valuable insights as to how they might facilitate the focus group discussion.
The aim of this input was not necessarily to change the primary outcome of the research but to ensure that their approach would optimise input and feedback from the patients taking part.
The panel were very supportive of the study, having learned that non-adherence to medication potentially costs the NHS £millions in wasted prescriptions and also compromises the health of patients often leading to other more intensive treatment.
Dr Katerina Kassavou who is leading the study was very grateful of the support and feedback she received. She also presented her work at a CUH PPI panel meeting and to the PPI oversight committee gaining exposure for the research and support from patient and public representatives.
The time allowed to gather and test the intervention happened over a 4-6 week period. The research team now have an improved Patient Information Sheet; an improved intervention with modifications to the messaging service; valuable insight to improve the focus group discussions; and were open to friendly but challenging questions which have given them the opportunity to prepare for the types of question you might receive from a funding committee or ethics board.