Patient Care

Interdisciplinary Intervention Improves Medication Compliance, Not Blood Pressure or LDL-C Levels


Clinical question: Can intervention by pharmacists and physicians improve compliance to cardio-protective medications?

Background: Adherence to cardio-protective medications in the year after hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome is poor.

Study design: RCT.

Setting: Four Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.

Synopsis: The intervention consisted of pharmacist-led medication reconciliation, patient education, pharmacist and PCP +/- cardiologist collaboration, and voice messaging. The outcome measured was the proportion of patients adherent to medication regimens based on a mean proportion of days covered (PDC) >0.80 in the year after discharge, using pharmacy refill data for clopidogrel, beta blockers, statins, and ACEI/ARBs.

Two hundred forty-one patients (95.3%) completed the study. In the intervention group, 89.3% of patients were adherent vs. 73.9% in the usual care group (P=0.003). Mean PDC was higher in the intervention group (0.94 vs. 0.87; P<0.001). A greater proportion of intervention patients were adherent to clopidogrel (86.8% vs. 70.7%; P=0.03), statins (93.2% vs. 71.3%; P<0.001), and ACEI/ARBs (93.1% vs. 81.7%; P=0.03), but not beta blockers (88.1% vs. 84.8%; P=0.59). There were no statistically significant differences in the proportion of patients who achieved blood pressure and LDL-C level goals.

Bottom line: An interdisciplinary, multi-faceted intervention increased medication compliance in the year after discharge for ACS but did not improve blood pressure or LDL-C levels.

Citation: Ho PM, Lambert-Kerzner A, Carey EP, et al. Multifaceted intervention to improve medication adherence and secondary prevention measures after acute coronary syndrome hospital discharge. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(2):186-193.

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