Improved Adherence: Working on How to Make it Stick

Improved Adherence: Working on How to Make it Stick

03.01.12 | By Kate Connors

It's no secret that encouraging adherence among patients can be a challenge. We know that patients who are more compliant regarding their prescribed treatment regimen tend to have better health outcomes. However, the problem has been finding a way to effectively encourage compliance.

In the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog this week, WSJ reporter Katherine Hobson writes about an Archives of Internal Medicine study comparing Medicare beneficiaries taking osteoporosis drugs with those taking drugs while getting "a series of so-called motivational interviews."

The interviews weren't meant just to inspire patients to adhere, but also to learn the reasons patients might have for not adhering.

By measuring prescription claims data, the study authors were able to ascertain who followed their treatment regimens, based on when they refilled their prescriptions.

Unfortunately, Hobson writes: "While there was a difference between the groups, it wasn't statistically significant."

The study authors acknowledge that the motivational interviews might have been implemented in a different way to achieve greater benefit. Still, it's another argument in favor of continuing to evaluate, especially "for those with chronic disease that don't have symptoms," how to improve adherence and, with it, patient health.

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateAtPhRMA

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