advertisement
Home » News » When Not Taking Drugs Is a Problem

When Not Taking Drugs Is a Problem

When Not Taking Drugs Becomes a ProblemAlthough Americans have been pegged as a drug-taking society, non-adherence to medications is a serious problem. Experts believe the failure to take prescribed medications costs thousands of lives and billions of dollars each year.

To address this problem, researchers at the University of Missouri have developed an intervention strategy that is three times more effective than previously studied techniques at improving adherence in patients.

Cynthia Russell, associate professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, found that patients who used a “Continuous Self-Improvement” strategy drastically improved their medication adherence.

The strategy focuses on counseling patients to understand how taking medications can fit into their daily routines. Nurses meet with patients and discuss their daily schedules to identify optimal times to take medications and safe places to store their medications.

“Continuous Self-Improvement is a personalized strategy, and the scheduling is different for every patient,” Russell said.

“Finding the right place and time for patients to take medications can be as simple as storing the pill bottles in their cars so their medication will be available for them to take during the morning commute to work.”

In the study, kidney transplant patients were given pill bottles with caps that automatically recorded the date and time whenever they were opened. Each month, a nurse reviewed the results in illustrated reports with the patients and discussed how they could improve their adherence.

The researchers found significant improvements among patients’ adherence rates. The results indicate the technique is three times more effective than previously studied techniques.

Russell recommends that patients meet with nurses to implement the strategy a few months after medical procedures, when they have returned to their normal routines. During follow-up appointments, patients can discuss potential problems and strategies for taking their medications.

“Ideally, all patients should use electronic monitoring pill bottles because it enables them to see computerized graphs of their previous month’s medication schedules and medication taking,” Russell said.

“We found that patients enjoyed seeing their results at each meeting and were interested in receiving the feedback.”

An estimated 35 percent of kidney transplant patients do not take their medications daily and 75 percent do not take their medications at the correct times. It is important for transplant patients to take medications correctly because incorrect dosages could result in side effects, rejection of the organs or death.

Source: University of Missouri

When Not Taking Drugs Is a Problem

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). When Not Taking Drugs Is a Problem. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/11/19/when-not-taking-drugs-is-a-problem/21084.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.