Interest by Physicians Can Play Role in Medication Adherence

Patients more likely to properly use asthma meds when doctors opt to view detailed adherence info
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients whose doctors actively review their medication use and prescribing information are more likely to use inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for asthma control as prescribed, according to research published online May 31 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

L. Keoki Williams, M.D., of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and colleagues compared adherence to ICS in patients whose providers were randomized to use an electronic system to track medication fills and refills and had an option to view further ICS adherence information (intervention group, 1,335 patients and 88 providers), and in patients whose providers did not have access to electronic prescription software (control group, 1,363 patients and 105 providers).

By the end of the three-month study period, the researchers found that there was no difference in ICS adherence between the intervention group and the control group (21.3 versus 23.3 percent; P = .553). In those patients in the intervention group whose doctors chose to view the detailed adherence data, however, adherence was significantly higher than in those in the control group (P = .026) and those in the intervention group whose doctors did not choose to view the adherence data (P = .002).

"Overall, providing adherence information to clinicians did not improve ICS use among patients with asthma. However, patient use may improve when clinicians are sufficiently interested in adherence to view the details of this medication use," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Merck.

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