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      Medication adherence issues in patients treated for COPD

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          Abstract

          Although medical treatment of COPD has advanced, nonadherence to medication regimens poses a significant barrier to optimal management. Underuse, overuse, and improper use continue to be the most common causes of poor adherence to therapy. An average of 40%–60% of patients with COPD adheres to the prescribed regimen and only 1 out of 10 patients with a metered dose inhaler performs all essential steps correctly. Adherence to therapy is multifactorial and involves both the patient and the primary care provider. The effect of patient instruction on inhaler adherence and rescue medication utilization in patients with COPD does not seem to parallel the good results reported in patients with asthma. While use of a combined inhaler may facilitate adherence to medications and improve efficacy, pharmacoeconomic factors may influence patient’s selection of both the device and the regimen. Patient’s health beliefs, experiences, and behaviors play a significant role in adherence to pharmacological therapy. This manuscript reviews important aspects associated with medication adherence in patients with COPD and identifies some predictors of poor adherence.

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          Most cited references 113

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          Concurrent and predictive validity of a self-reported measure of medication adherence.

          Adherence to the medical regimen continues to rank as a major clinical problem in the management of patients with essential hypertension, as in other conditions treated with drugs and life-style modification. This article reviews the psychometric properties and tests the concurrent and predictive validity of a structured four-item self-reported adherence measure (alpha reliability = 0.61), which can be easily integrated into the medical visit. Items in the scale address barriers to medication-taking and permit the health care provider to reinforce positive adherence behaviors. Data on patient adherence to the medical regimen were collected at the end of a formalized 18-month educational program. Blood pressure measurements were recorded throughout a 3-year follow-up period. Results showed the scale to demonstrate both concurrent and predictive validity with regard to blood pressure control at 2 years and 5 years, respectively. Seventy-five percent of the patients who scored high on the four-item scale at year 2 had their blood pressure under adequate control at year 5, compared with 47% under control at year 5 for those patients scoring low (P less than 0.01).
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            Methods for measuring and monitoring medication regimen adherence in clinical trials and clinical practice.

             K C Farmer (1999)
            Researchers and clinicians have used numerous methods in their attempts to adequately assess patient compliance (adherence) with medication regimens and to identify noncompliant patients. Large variations have been reported in the extent of noncompliance in individual patients and large populations. In addition, nonadherence has often been poorly defined. Direct measures of adherence include drug assays of blood or urine, use of drug markers with the target medication, and direct observation of the patient receiving the medication. Indirect measures of adherence imply that the medication has been used by the patient; these measures include various forms of self-reporting by the patient, medication measurement (pill count), use of electronic monitoring devices, and review of prescription records and claims. Compliance measures should be assessed on the basis of their validity (sensitivity and specificity or statistical correlation) and the reference standard used. Many early studies used pill counts as a reference standard, but electronic monitoring devices such as the Medication Event Monitoring System have replaced pill counts as the reference standard. The choice of a method for measuring adherence to a medication regimen should be based on the usefulness and reliability of the method in light of the researcher's or clinician's goals. Specific methods may be more applicable to certain situations, depending on the type of adherence being assessed, the precision required, and the intended application of the results.
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              Maintenance therapy with budesonide and formoterol in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

              Lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be improved acutely by oral corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Whether clinical improvement can be maintained by subsequent inhaled therapy is unknown. COPD patients (n=1,022, mean prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 36% predicted) initially received formoterol (9 microg b.i.d.) and oral prednisolone (30 mg o.d.) for 2 weeks. After this time, patients were randomised to b.i.d. inhaled budesonide/formoterol 320/9 microg, budesonide 400 microg, formoterol 9 microg or placebo for 12 months. Postmedication FEV1 improved by 0.21 L and health-related quality of life using the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) by 4.5 units after run-in. Fewer patients receiving budesonide/formoterol withdrew from the study than those receiving budesonide, formoterol or placebo. Budesonide/formoterol patients had a prolonged time to first exacerbation (254 versus 96 days) and maintained higher FEV1 (99% versus 87% of baseline), both primary variables versus placebo. They had fewer exacerbations (1.38 versus 1.80 exacerbations per patient per year), had higher prebronchodilator peak expiratory flow, and showed clinically relevant improvements in SGRQ versus placebo (-7.5 units). Budesonide/formoterol was more effective than either monocomponent in both primary variables. Budesonide/formoterol in a single inhaler (Symbicort) maintains the benefit of treatment optimisation, stabilising lung function and delaying exacerbations more effectively than either component drug alone or placebo.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                September 2008
                September 2008
                : 3
                : 3
                : 371-384
                Affiliations
                Department of Respiratory Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ruben D Restrepo MD, RRT, FAARC, Department of Respiratory Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas. MSC 6248. San Antonio TX 78229, USA, Tel +1 210 567 8858, Fax +1 210 567 8852, Email restrepor@ 123456uthscsa.edu
                Article
                copd-3-371
                2629978
                18990964
                © 2008 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
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