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Identifying Interventions Aimed at Improving Med Adherence

July 26, 2019

In a recent study, researchers sought to identify medication adherence interventions provided by health care professionals and found that some interventions have a positive impact on adherence and outcomes. However, it was also found that there was no single strategy that showed significant improvement in all settings.  

For the study, the research team conducted a literature search of systematic reviews in Medline, Embase, and CINAHL. They validated quality by using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) 2 and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses questionnaires. Finally, they extracted, combined, and tabulated the results of the included studies in order to determine adherence interventions. 

The study authors reviewed 37 randomized controlled studies that involved 28,600 participants.  

“Patient education and counselling showed some positive effects on medication adherence,” study authors explained. “Patient education also showed some positive effects on morbidity, healthcare utilities and patient satisfaction.”

According to further findings, counseling had some benefit on both mortality and health care utilization. Additionally, the team found that when medication doses were simplified, some benefit on morbidity and patient satisfaction was observed.  

“Interventions delivered by pharmacists and nurses showed a better result in improving adherence and outcomes than interventions delivered by general practitioners,” they explained.  

“Some interventions were found to have positive effect on adherence and outcomes, but no single strategy showed improvement in all settings.” 

Julie Gould


Wilhelmsen NC, Eriksson T. Medication adherence interventions and outcomes: an overview of systematic reviews [published online ahead of print Novemeber 16, 2018]. Eur J Hosp Pharm Sci Pract. 2019 Jul;26(4):187-192. doi: 10.1136/ejhpharm-2018-001725

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