(HealthDay)—Randomization to use of a smartphone app is associated with a small improvement in medication adherence but no change in systolic blood pressure among individuals with poorly controlled hypertension, according to a study published online April 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kyle Morawski, M.D., M.P.H., from the Center for Healthcare Delivery Sciences in Boston, and colleagues recruited 412 participants with confirmed uncontrolled hypertension taking one to three antihypertensive medications; they were randomized to intervention or control in a 1-to-1 ratio. Participants in the were asked to download and use the Medisafe app, which includes reminder alerts, adherence reports, and optional peer support.

The researchers found that the mean score on the Morisky scale improved by 0.4 among intervention participants and remained unchanged among controls (between-group difference, 0.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.1 to 0.7; P = 0.01) after 12 weeks. Among intervention and , the mean at baseline was 151.4 and 151.3 mm Hg; after 12 weeks, the mean systolic blood pressure decreased by 10.6 and 10.1 mm Hg among the intervention and control participants, respectively (between-group difference, −0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, −3.7 to 2.7; P = 0.78).

"We found significant improvement in medication adherence, but no difference in systolic blood pressure between the intervention and control groups," the authors write.

The study was funded by an unrestricted grant from Medisafe Inc.

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Journal information: JAMA Internal Medicine