Review: evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to assist patients’ adherence to prescribed medications is limited
QUESTION: In patients with medical or mental disorders (but not addictions), are interventions designed to assist patients’ adherence to self administered prescribed medications effective?
Studies were identified by searching Medline, CINAHL, PsycLIT, SOCIOFILE, IPA, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and the Cochrane Library (all from 1967 to August 2001). Bibliographies of relevant articles were reviewed, and authors of included studies were asked to suggest other published or unpublished trials that had been missed.
Studies were selected if they were unconfounded randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of an intervention to improve adherence with self administered prescribed medications for a medical or psychiatric disorder, measured both medication adherence and treatment outcome, had ≥80% follow up of each group studied, and duration of follow up for studies with positive initial findings was ≥6 months.
Data were extracted on sample size, details of intervention strategies for adherence, details of treatment for the underlying medical or mental disorder, study quality, and outcomes …