Medication education can improve adherence among diabetes patients

SAN DIEGO — Medication education can help patients with diabetes stay compliant with their medication regimens, according to a new study published in the February issue of the journal Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

The goal of the study, conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy, was to figure out which methods patients and caregivers used to improve medication adherence and find motivating factors or characteristics of medications that might help patients stick to their regimens. The researchers found that taking medications as part of a daily routine and using pill boxes were the most frequently reported ways to improve adherence, while knowledge of medicines’ effectiveness, management of side effects and better understanding of drugs’ benefits were the three most motivating factors.

“Counseling can be more effective if pharmacists recognize that individual patients are each motivated to adhere to their drug regimens in different ways,” UCSD pharmacy professor and study author Candis Morello said. “By understanding these differences and knowing what actually works for individual patients, pharmacists can provide a very important service.”

The researchers surveyed more than 1,200 adults, most of whom had Type 2 diabetes and of whom nearly half took only oral medications. Nearly 87% of patients reported taking medications twice or more per day.

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