Persuasive Pillboxes: Improving Medication Adherence with Personal Digital Assistants

  • Anthony A. Sterns
  • Christopher B. Mayhorn
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3962)


Personal digital assistants (PDAs) can be used persuasively to change attitudes regarding medication taking, thereby facilitating adherence for older adults. A pillbox that integrates onto the body of the PDA was created as a place to store mid-day pills. Results from a lab and field experiment on older adults’ perceptions and use of PDAs for medication minding are reported. In both the lab and field experiment, older adults were successfully trained to use PDA standard programs and a program for medication reminding. At the conclusion of the 3-month field experiment, a physical pill count yielded increased compliance with two-thirds of the participants missing 1 pill or less in the third month of the study. Implications for PDA training curricula, hardware design, and future research are discussed.


Medication Adherence Personal Digital Assistant Older Adult Error Recovery Usability Questionnaire 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony A. Sterns
    • 1
  • Christopher B. Mayhorn
    • 2
  1. 1.Creative Action LLCUniversity of Akron, University of Maryland, University CollegeAkronUnited States
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUnited States

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