About half of people who provide care and support to loved ones said they are more likely to be nonadherent to their own personal medication regimen than to neglect providing medications to those they are caring for, according to a study by researchers at Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and CVS Caremark. Given this, there’s a significant opportunity for pharmacists and doctors to identify and work with caregivers to improve medication adherence and chronic disease management.
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, the research team conducted an online survey of 2,000 retail pharmacy customers of which 38%, or 762 respondents, described themselves as caregivers. Of that group:
45% said they somewhat or strongly agreed that they are more likely to forget to take their own medications, even though they provide family members with their medicines; and
When comparing caregivers with noncaregivers, caregivers said they are 10% more likely to forget taking their medicines, 11% are likely to stop taking their medications if they feel better and 13% said they are likely to forget to fill their refills.
More than 65 million Americans describe themselves as caregivers, and as the U.S. population ages, that number is expected to grow.