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Pharm World Sci. 2006 Jun;28(3):165-70. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Patient-centred advice is effective in improving adherence to medicines.

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1
Department of Practice and Policy, The School of Pharmacy, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the effects of pharmacists giving advice to meet patients' needs after starting a new medicine for a chronic condition.

METHOD:

A prospective health technology assessment including a randomised controlled trial of a pharmacist-delivered intervention to improve adherence using a centralised telephone service to patients at home in England. Patients were eligible for recruitment if they were receiving the first prescription for a newly prescribed medication for a chronic condition and were 75 or older or suffering from stroke, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Incidence of non-adherence, problems with the new medicine, beliefs about the new medicine, safety and usefulness of the interventions.

RESULTS:

Five hundred patients consented and were randomised. At 4-week follow-up, non-adherence was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to control (9% vs. 16%, P = 0.032). The number of patients reporting medicine-related problems was significantly lower in the intervention group compared to the control (23% vs. 34%, P = 0.021). Intervention group patients also had more positive beliefs about their new medicine, as shown by their higher score on the "necessity-concerns differential" (5.0 vs. 3.5, P = 0.007). The phone calls took a median of 12 min each. Most advice was judged by experts to be safe and helpful, and patients found it useful.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, these findings show benefits from pharmacists meeting patients' needs for information and advice on medicines, soon after starting treatment. While a substantially larger trial would be needed to confirm that the effect is real and sustained, these initial findings suggest the service may be safe and useful to patients.

PMID:
17004019
DOI:
10.1007/s11096-006-9026-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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