ACS Patient Nonadherence Factors Pharmacists Should Target

Seven in 10 patients report some extent of nonadherence prior to a hospitalization caused by a cardiovascular event such as acute cardiac failure.

Seven in 10 patients report some extent of nonadherence prior to a hospitalization caused by a cardiovascular event such as acute cardiac failure.

Multiple studies have looked at medication adherence and health outcomes, but their findings have been inconclusive and often contradictory.

Now, a new study published in the Journal of Health Communication has identified risk factors for nonadherence after analyzing 1967 patients hospitalized with an acute cardiac event.

With this information, pharmacists can develop interventions that improve adherence and patient outcomes.

Risk factors investigated in the study included health literacy, health numeracy, and health competency. In addition, the researchers investigated sex, race, age, income, marital status, social support, depression, education, and diagnosis.

The study showed that low health literacy, low numeracy, low health competency, nonwhite race, younger age, male sex, less social support, and more depressive mood are significant risk factors for nonadherence.

Of these risk factors, health literacy, health numeracy, health competency, social support, and depression are modifiable and potential targets for pharmacist interventions.

The investigators indicated that comprehensive, team-based care using educational, behavioral, and social interventions can overcome these barriers.

Pharmacists can advocate for patients and ensure that they understand written and numerical information. They can also suggest devices that help patients remember to take their medication.

Pharmacists can also monitor for adherence and ensure that patients with acute coronary syndrome have or can find the resources for social support.

By identifying and understanding the cause of nonadherence, pharmacists can help reduce hospitalizations through adherence interventions.