Talking Pill Bottles: Tech Assist for Low Health Literacy High Blood Pressure Patients

Research Design: Two community pharmacies serving an ethnically diverse population in the Pacific Northwest. Participants were consented patients with antihypertension prescriptions who screened positive for low health literacy based on the Test of Functional Health Literacy Short Form. Participants in the intervention arm received antihypertensive medications and recordings of pharmacists' counseling in Talking Pill Bottles at baseline. Control arm participants received antihypertensive medications and usual care instructions. Main outcome measures Results Of 871 patients screened for health literacy, 134 eligible participants were enrolled in the trial. Sample was elderly, ethnically diverse, of low income, and experienced regarding hypertension and medication history. In both arms, we found high baseline scores in medication knowledge test, SEAMS, and MMAS-8 and minimal changes in these measures over the 90-day study period. Blood pressure decreased significantly in the intervention arm. Acceptability scores for the Talking Pill Bottle technology were high. Conclusion Results suggest that providing audio-assisted medication instructions in Talking Pill Bottles positively affected blood pressure control and was well accepted by patients with low health literacy. Further research involving newly diagnosed patients needed to mitigate possible ceiling effects observed in an experienced population. (Source: JAPhA)