Aim To test the effectiveness of a tailored, pharmacist-led centralised advice service to improve adherence to patients on established medications.
Methods A parallel group randomised controlled trial was conducted. Patients prescribed at least one oral medication for type 2 diabetes and/or lipid regulation were eligible to participate. 677 patients of a mail-order pharmacy were recruited and randomised (340 intervention, 337 control). The intervention comprised two tailored telephone consultations with a pharmacist, 4–6 weeks apart, plus a written summary of the discussion and a medicines reminder chart. The primary outcome was self-reported adherence to medication at 6-month follow-up, collected via a postal questionnaire, analysed using generalised estimating equations. Secondary outcomes included prescription refill adherence, lipid and glycaemic control and patient satisfaction.
Results In intention-to-treat analysis 36/340 (10.6%) of the intervention group were non-adherent (<90% of medication taken in the past 7 days) at 6 months compared with 66/337 (19.6%) in the control group, yielding an unadjusted OR of 1.54 (95% CI 1.11 to 2.15, p=0.01). Analyses of dispensing data also showed that the odds of being classified as adherent (≥90%) were 60% greater for the intervention group compared with the control group (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.24, p<0.01). In a subsample of patients who provided blood samples, glycaemic and lipid control did not differ significantly between groups (p=0.06 and p=0.24, respectively) but positive trends were observed. Ninety-two per cent of intervention group patients reported that they were satisfied with the service overall.
Conclusions A telephone intervention, led by a pharmacist and tailored to the individuals’ needs, can significantly improve medication adherence in patients with long-term conditions, using a mail-order pharmacy. Further work is needed to confirm a trend towards improved clinical outcome.
Trial registration number NCT01864239.
- Randomised controlled trial
- Patient-centred care
Statistics from Altmetric.com
This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.
- Data supplement 1 - Online supplement
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.