Patient-focused intervention to improve long-term adherence to evidence-based medications: a randomized trial.
BACKGROUND: Nonadherence to cardiovascular medications is a significant public health problem. This randomized study evaluated the effect on medication adherence of linking hospital and community pharmacists. METHODS: Hospitalized patients with coronary artery disease discharged on aspirin, β-blocker, and statin who used a participating pharmacy were randomized to usual care or intervention. The usual care group received discharge counseling and a letter to the community physician; the intervention group received enhanced in-hospital counseling, attention to adherence barriers, communication of discharge medications to community pharmacists and physicians, and ongoing assessment of adherence by community pharmacists. The primary end point was self-reported use of aspirin, β-blocker, and statin at 6 months postdischarge; the secondary end point was a ≥ 75% proportion of days covered (PDC) for β-blocker and statin through 6 months postdischarge. RESULTS: Of 143 enrolled patients, 108 (76%) completed 6-month follow-up, and 115 (80%) had 6-month refill records. There was no difference between intervention and control groups in self-reported adherence (91% vs 94%, respectively, P = .50). Using the PDC to determine adherence to β-blockers and statins, there was better adherence in the intervention versus control arm, but the difference was not statistically significant (53% vs 38%, respectively, P = .11). Adherence to β-blockers was statistically significantly better in intervention versus control (71% vs 49%, respectively, P = .03). Of 85 patients who self-reported adherence and had refill records, only 42 (49%) were also adherent by PDC. CONCLUSIONS: The trend toward better adherence by refill records with the intervention should encourage further investigation of engaging pharmacists to improve continuity of care.
Calvert, SB; Kramer, JM; Anstrom, KJ; Kaltenbach, LA; Stafford, JA; Allen LaPointe, NM
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