Study links adherence with side effect worries

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Side-effect concerns may be getting between adult asthmatics and positive adherence rates, according to a study, summarized by the American Journal of Managed Care, that looked at the impact Merck's Adherence Estimator had on keeping patients engaged with medication regimens.

The estimator, called AE, worked by scoring three areas of patient concern regarding medications: possible harm, how essential patients perceive the medication, and the financial burden connected to the treatment.

The AE identified 50% of the study participants as at-risk for low adherence, which resulted in education that included counseling, reviewing handouts about how not taking medication puts patients at risk, the benefits of taking medication, and referrals for financial assistance when warranted.

Researchers found greater adherence among the targeted patients. The key driver: lower level of side-effect concerns.

A second study among pre-teens and teens did not offer similar results.

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