New Study Helps Explain Patient Nonadherence to Cardiovascular Disease Medications

Researchers traced a patient's nonadherence to cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related medications to the number of medications an individual is prescribed as well as at what times these medications need to be taken. While prescribed CVD medications control associated risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, more than half of the patients on a prescribed medication plan fail to take their prescriptions as needed.

Researchers traced a patient’s nonadherence to cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related medications to the number of medications an individual is prescribed as well as at what times these medications need to be taken. While prescribed CVD medications control associated risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, more than half of the patients on a prescribed medication plan fail to take their prescriptions as needed.

According to the report, the study examined patients enrolled in a clinical trial who were receiving care in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system and who were reported to have poorly controlled CVD risk factors. These individuals not only demonstrated an uncontrolled disease status but also provided a “unique perspective on barriers to medication adherence,” say the authors. The study was guided by the Health Decision Model, in which the researchers believed that a patient’s perceptions of barriers would ultimately affect their health decisions.

“Patients who reported medication nonadherence experienced higher medication barrier scores,” the report stated. “Obtaining information about medication barriers from the patient’s perspective is critical in order to know where and how to intervene to improve medication adherence.”

The study discovered that individuals who were not employed or who did not have a strong social support system such as someone to help with tasks when needed, recorded high medication barrier scores. Additionally, when researchers dissected the results from patients facing both hypertension and hyperlipidemia, they discovered that individuals diagnosed with hypertension alone presented higher medication barrier scores.

Highlighting the importance of a social support system, the researchers concluded that family support alone creates a positive correlation with medication adherence with respect to hypertension as a CVD risk factor. The study suggested that available tools for self-monitoring, reminders on smartphone applications, and Web-based software may help reconcile medication nonadherence when it comes to the common barriers such as having too many medications to take at one time or forgetting to take the medications when prescribed.

“Linking patients with existing resources of relevance to their specific barriers is critical to address problems and subsequently improve medication adherence,” the report stated.

To read the full report, click here: http://bit.ly/1KRwYLW