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Contact and education improves medication adherence says review

By Editor
28th July 2020
Type 2 diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes and or cardiovascular disease are more likely to take prescribed medication if they have regular contact with a healthcare professional and education, a study published in BMJ Open has found.

Researchers from Leicester reviewed 34 studies looking at ways to ensure people with the two conditions comply with their medication schedule.

As well as investigating the best ways to improve adherence, the team funded by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands compared the impact of structured trials (explanatory) versus research evaluating the effectiveness of interventions in real-life (pragmatic).

According to the findings, interventions featuring an element of education alongside regular time with a healthcare professional “showed the most promise”.

This suggested that “frequent engagement with the healthcare team may trigger behavioural change or act as a reminder to undertake the behaviour”, the researchers concluded.

When analysing the differences between explanatory and pragmatic studies, the outcomes suggested that the effectiveness was comparable, suggesting that “findings can be transferred from idealised to real-world conditions”.

On the back of this study, the researchers have called for further guidance to be developed to assist researchers in characterising and scoring studies.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti is the Director of NIHR ARC East Midlands and is also a Professor of Primary Care, Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester.

Summarising the findings of the study, he said: “Overall multifaceted interventions which included an element of education alongside regular patient contact or follow-up showed the most promise. Effectiveness of interventions between pragmatic and explanatory trials were comparable, suggesting that findings can be transferred from idealised to real-world conditions.

“With regard to trial design, recently there has been a focus on designing trials that are pragmatic and therefore more representative of ‘real life’. The findings from this review suggest that the effectiveness of interventions between pragmatic and explanatory trials was comparable, suggesting that findings can be transferred from idealised to real-word conditions.”

ARC East Midlands funds vital work to tackle the region’s health and care priorities by speeding up the adoption of research onto the frontline of health and social care.

The organisation puts in place evidence-based frameworks to drive up standards of care and save time and money.

ARC East Midlands is hosted by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and works in collaboration with the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network. It has bases at University of Leicester and University of Nottingham.

To access the study, click here.

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