Improving Medication Use in Patients With Hypertension
The purpose of this trial is to determine whether minority and low-income patients with high blood pressure take their medications better when they are helped by a pharmacist and provided with special medication packaging and information aimed at persons with low health literacy.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
|Official Title:||Improving Medication Use in Patients With Hypertension|
- Adherence to blood pressure medications
- Blood pressure control
- Health-related quality of life
- Exacerbation of symptoms
- Patient satisfaction
- Direct costs
|Study Start Date:||January 2002|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||May 2005|
Optimal use of medications in patients with hypertension prevents adverse outcomes. When their blood pressure is carefully controlled, patients with uncomplicated hypertension are spared primary events including myocardial infarction, stroke, cognitive impairment, and renal insufficiency. Patients who have already experienced complications are spared the suffering of subsequent events. Because hypertension is asymptomatic and antihypertensive drugs have adverse effects, patients often feel better when they are not taking their medication as opposed to when they carefully adhere to their physician’s prescribed regimen. Therefore, innovative strategies are needed to educate patients and improve patient adherence to a complicated regimen often involving many drugs. Doing so can to reduce morbidity, mortality, and the costs of patient care. Minority patients often do not have access to the resources needed to assist them with their medications and as such they are especially vulnerable. Recent studies suggest that blood pressure control of patients with hypertension improves when pharmacists provide patients with education and monitoring. However, studies of clinical endpoints have not been conducted. This study aims to develop and test, in a randomized controlled trial, a multileveled pharmacy-based program to improve adherence in minority patients. This program incorporates patient education materials and medication packaging designed for patients with low-literacy. A study pharmacist accessed a computer database that is integrated into an electronic medical database called the Regenstrief Medical Record System (RMRS).
Patients from Wishard Health Services with uncomplicated or complicated hypertension were randomly assigned to a pharmacist intervention or usual care group. Patients in the intervention group received verbal education, written education materials, icon-based labeling of medication containers, and therapeutic monitoring. The pharmacist educated patients about their medications, identified barriers to appropriate drug use, coached patients to overcome drug use barriers, and coordinated drug use for these patients in conjunction with their primary care providers. Patients in the usual care (control) group did not receive pharmacist intervention.
To objectively measure medication compliance, Medication Event Monitor System (MEMS) lids (electronic monitors) were used for all antihypertensive medications. MEMS lids contain a computer chip that electronically imprints a time/date stamp each time an opening and closure occurs. Such data reveal the temporal pattern of medication adherence. Data concerning clinical endpoints, comorbidities, and healthcare costs were extracted from the RMRS. Other data included blood pressure measurements, health related quality of life, cognitive function, health literacy, and satisfaction with care.
Study participation for the patients in the intervention group concluded after 12 months of active intervention, which be followed by six months of post-intervention follow-up. Primary endpoints included medication adherence and systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Secondary outcomes included health-related quality of life, symptoms, patient satisfaction, and direct healthcare costs.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00388817
|United States, North Carolina|
|School of Pharmacy, UNC-Chapel Hill, CB 7360|
|Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States, 27599-7360|
|Principal Investigator:||Michael D Murray, PharmD, MPH||UNC-Chapel Hill|