A recent study published in JMIR Publications suggests that standardizing reporting methods for patient adherence and engagement in digital health interventions would enhance the effectiveness of these interventions. The researchers of the study emphasized the need for a common set of core metrics to be aligned across clinical trials of digital interventions to enable meaningful comparisons.
The systematic literature review study focused on patient adherence and engagement in clinical trials for treating depression. The researchers extracted data from 94 studies that met the inclusion criteria, involving a total of 20,111 participants. Various metrics were used to measure adherence and engagement, with adherence commonly measured as the percentage of participants who completed all available modules. The average dose received was 60.7% of available modules.
Engagement was typically measured as the number of modules completed, with participants engaging for an average of 3.9 hours. The study found that increased engagement was associated with greater improvements in patient outcomes. Of the studies that measured the relationship between efficacy and engagement, 64% reported significant improvements in patient outcomes with increased engagement.
However, the researchers acknowledged some limitations, including publication bias and potential bias in studies with higher adherence and engagement levels. They also highlighted the importance of standardizing reporting methods to improve the efficacy of digital interventions.
To enhance the research field, the researchers proposed using consistent metrics for reporting adherence and engagement, incorporating control groups and diverse patient backgrounds, always reporting race and ethnicity data, investigating the impact of socioeconomic factors, and understanding the dose-response relationship.
In conclusion, standardizing reporting methods for patient adherence and engagement in digital health interventions would allow for more accurate comparisons across different interventions and populations. This study highlights the significance of aligning core metrics and emphasizes the need for consistent reporting to improve the efficacy of digital interventions.
Forbes A, Keleher MR, Venditto M, DiBiasi F. Assessing patient adherence to and engagement with digital interventions for depression in clinical trials: Systematic literature review. J Med Internet Res. 2023;25:e43727. doi:10.2196/43727