Trust in Healthcare Providers May Impact Adherence

High levels of trust in healthcare providers found to increase medication adherence.

Each disease state presents patients and healthcare professionals with a unique challenge. In some cases, effective treatment requires collaboration among specialists, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers.

A new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2017 suggests that trusting healthcare professionals may be an important factor involved with patient outcomes.

Patients on complex therapies require monitoring to ensure that they are adhering to their treatments and achieving the best possible outcomes, since non-adherence can lead to adverse events.

The new study discovered that patients with high blood pressure who trusted their providers were more likely to adhere to their prescribed drugs compared with those who have less trust in their healthcare professional.

Included in the study were 101 Hispanic and 100 non-Hispanic patients treated for high blood pressure. These patients had similar control of their high blood pressure.

The authors found that patients with high levels of trust adhered to their blood pressure treatment 93% of the time, while patients with less trust adhered to treatment 82% of the time, according to the study.

Higher levels of trust were also associated with increased adaptability and health-related quality of life, which highlights the importance of trust for these patients.

Regardless of race or ethnicity, the authors found that having high trust in healthcare professionals had a protective effect, according to the study.

“Because adherence to blood pressure lowering medication is a challenge for many people, identifying and understanding how to overcome obstacles that prevent patients from following prescribed treatments may help lower their risk for the serious health consequences of poorly controlled hypertension including stroke and heart attack, and, in turn, may lead to improved health outcomes,” said lead study author Lilia Meltzer, PhD.

These findings suggest that the level of trust in a provider can significantly impact outcomes among patients with high blood pressure.

Poor medication adherence “has long been a main reason for poor hypertension control in the United States regardless of race or ethnic origin,” Dr Meltzer concluded. “Thirty-four percent of adults 20 years or older have high blood pressure and 90% of those with uncontrolled hypertension have a medical provider and health insurance.”

Since the results of nonadherence could diminish health and potentially lead to cardiovascular events, preventing this issue is important. Providers and institutions may choose to take extra steps to ensure that their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, are confident that their best interests are in mind when creating a treatment plan.