When was the last time you were prescribed antibiotics?
Do you remember?
Did you finish the whole course? Or did you, like many of us feel motivated to take your antibiotics for the first few days while the symptoms were raging? Only to accidentally start to miss doses when your symptoms abated. Before you knew it, two weeks had passed and you had half a packet of unused pills. What the heck, you felt better, so you put the half used packet in a drawer or threw them away.
This is a common problem with medication, especially those that you only have to take for a short amount of time.
What’s the motivator?
Users aren’t necessarily motivated to finish their prescription. The person who is motived in you finishing your medication is your doctor.
Short of convincing patients of the side effects, which is simply one more thing to worry about; it’s hard to persuade people to do something that they see no immediate or long term benefit in.
Borrowing from the GDS design principle “Do the hard work to make it simple” I intend to investigate ways to make it easier for patients to remember to take their medication. Which should have a knock-on effect of increasing the rate at which patients complete their short-term prescription.
Setting up an experiment
- Create a hypothesis
- Determine how to set up contrasting treatments for the experimental and control groups
- Determine how measurements will be made
- Select subjects
- Run experiment
- Evaluate results
- Design an intervention to help people to remember to take their medication.
- Design a research kit to help test an SMS intervention.