New Strategies in Diabetes Medication Adherence

Medication adherence represents a major barrier to optimal therapeutic outcomes for a number of chronic conditions, and diabetes is no different. Often times, diabetes patients with poor glycemic control and multiple comorbidities have complex medication regimens, which often times complicate and exacerbate this problem.

Medication adherence represents a major barrier to optimal therapeutic outcomes for a number of chronic conditions, and diabetes is no different. Often times, diabetes patients with poor glycemic control and multiple comorbidities have complex medication regimens, which often times complicate and exacerbate this problem. For this reason, medication adherence was a major topic at the ADA 72nd Scientific Sessions. Here are some study highlights from the conference around this topic thus far.

Medication Adherence of Patients Attending a Pharmacist-CDE Led Diabetes Intense Medical Management and Education Clinic - Cadiz et al.

For this study, a collaborative pharmacist-endocrinologist clinic was in practice for one half day per week to help patients from a veteran population address barriers to adherence and achieve metabolic goals. The model, which was called the Diabetes Intense Medical Management (DIMM) Clinic, combined “clinical care with patient-specific diabetes education emphasizing medication and lifestyle modifications and patient empowerment,” with the objective of the clinic being to evaluate medication adherence levels between initial, 3-month, and 6-month clinic visits. Results of the study demonstrated that, “despite intense medication management that often involved additional oral agents or starting insulin therapy, patients were able to improve their medication adherence” while attending the clinic.

Hey Mikey, He Likes It: Patient Experience With Skype-Based Intervention for Teens With Poorly Controlled Diabetes - Freeman et al.

Use of videoconferencing is nothing new in the medical world. Many clinics and practices have shown positive results from telemedicine evaluations for a number of medical conditions. With that in mind, the authors of this study aimed to utilize videoconferencing as a medium to help improve medication adherence in youths with poorly controlled diabetes. The study involved 65 youths with a mean age of 15.14 years who were living in a one-parent home. The authors examined working alliance and patient satisfaction of the youths who were receiving family-based intervention to improve adherence, both via Skype (a videoconferencing, Web-based platform) versus in clinic. The researchers found that, although “parents were more satisfied with being randomized for treatment via Skype,” participants reported feeling “equally aligned with the therapist regardless of the treatment condition." Finally, Freeman et al assert that “the positive association between satisfaction with condition randomization and satisfaction with treatment via Skype highlights the importance of considering preferences when selecting treatment delivery options.”

To read more about this study, please visit the American Diabetes Association’s website.