Study links patient confidence to Rx adherence

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Study links patient confidence to Rx adherence
Study links patient confidence to Rx adherence

Doctors may feel crunched for time, but yet another study has found that making time to establish a relationship with patients, as opposed to just offering condition-management information and medical assessments, is essential to increasing medication adherence. This in turn can pay off by reducing the risk of spin-off conditions that crop up when immediate medical issues are not under control.

The study, supported by Kaiser Permanente of Northern California and published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, tracked 1,523 patients with Type-2 diabetes in terms of their adherence to antidepressants between 2006 and 2010.

In short, researchers found that patients were less likely to comply with medication regimens if patients felt like they had no input, did not feel as though they trusted their healthcare provider, and felt the doctor-patient relationship was poor.

Researchers said the results backed previous findings that showed care models with better antidepressant adherence included “frequent contacts, outreach and support by care managers, as well as psychoeducation and care coordination.” This has a direct overlap with a 2012-2013 diabetes study that found a high-touch relationship with diabetes patients resulted in a higher level of adherence.

The Kaiser study is a follow-on to a similar drill-down into cardiometabolic drug adherence rates, but researchers noted that this additional patient group was of note because depression is “an important co-morbidity among adults with diabetes and has been associated with poorer disease self management and greater risk of diabetic complications.”

Researchers also found that when patients are both diabetic and depressed, dementia and mortality risk doubles. This is in addition to upping the likelihood of inactivity, poor diet and smoking among patients by between 30% and 100%.

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Does a health psychology approach hold the key to Rx adherence? In MM&M's latest Leadership Exchange Uncut eBook, industry stakeholders from the payer, provider, academic and pharma realms explore the "why" behind medicine taking. Access here.