SAGE Journals

Usability and effectiveness of adherence monitoring of a mobile app designed to monitor and improve adherence to event-driven and daily HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among men who have sex with men in Taiwan

Posted on 2022-05-24 - 00:06

The UPrEPU mobile app is a self-monitoring system to enable men who have sex with men to optimize their pre-exposure prophylaxis adherence for HIV prevention. The app was designed to accommodate a rather complicated event-driven dosing schedule. We aim to evaluate the usability of the UPrEPU app and its effectiveness in improving adherence monitoring.


From May to October 2020, 35 participants were enrolled for the usability study and followed up for 4 months. Blood samples for the drug concentration in the dried blood spots were obtained once during the second to fourth follow-up visits. The effectiveness of adherence monitoring was analyzed using Cohen's kappa statistic to calculate the concordance between the average number of pills taken and drug concentration in the dried blood spots.


Overall retention was 91.4% (32 participants) at the end of the study. Participants used the app for a mean of 29 days and made 2565 data entries in total, with an average of 76 data entries. The average systematic usability scale score for the app was 71.5, indicating acceptable usability. Slight agreement was reached between the dried blood spots measurement and the number of pills taken and recorded in the app (weighted kappa: 0.21).


Our user-centered UPrEPU app demonstrated that it could accommodate both daily and event-driven dosing schedules for men who have sex with men clients with acceptable usability scores. We confirmed that complex behaviors such as different drug-dosing regimens that are contingent on sexual behaviors could be incorporated into the design of a mobile app.


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