Background: Suboptimal adherence to 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) is prevalent in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and associated with increased risk of relapse. Rapid uptake of personal technology makes mobile health (mHealth) an attractive platform to promote adherence.
Objective: Study objectives were to examine access to mobile technology and preferences for an mHealth intervention to improve medication adherence in pediatric ALL.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered in oncology clinic to parents of children with ALL as well as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with ALL receiving maintenance chemotherapy.
Results: A total of 49 parents (median age [IQR] 39 [33-42] years; female 76% [37/49]) and 15 patients (median age [IQR] 17 [16-19]; male 80% [12/15]) participated. All parents and AYAs owned electronic tablets, smartphones, or both. Parents' most endorsed mHealth app features included a list of medications (71%, 35/49), information about 6-MP (71%, 35/49), refill reminders (71%, 35/49), and reminders to take 6-MP (71%, 35/49). AYAs' most endorsed features included refill reminders (73%, 11/15), reminders to take 6-MP (73%, 11/15), and tracking 6-MP (73%, 11/15).
Conclusions: Parents and AYAs reported ubiquitous access to mobile technology and strong interest in multiple adherence-specific mHealth app features. Parents and AYAs provided valuable insight into preferred features for a multifunctional behavioral intervention (mHealth app) to promote medication adherence in pediatric ALL.
Keywords: acute lymphoblastic leukemia; behavior change technique; mHealth; medication adherence; oral chemotherapy; patient-centered.
©Mallorie B Heneghan, Tasmeen Hussain, Leonardo Barrera, Stephanie W Cai, Maureen Haugen, Elaine Morgan, Jenna Rossoff, Joanna Weinstein, Nobuko Hijiya, David Cella, Sherif M Badawy. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 18.02.2021.