Does providing prescription information or services improve medication adherence among patients discharged from the emergency department? A randomized controlled trial

Melissa L. McCarthy, Ru Ding, Nancy K. Roderer, Donald M. Steinwachs, Melinda J. Ortmann, Julius Cong Pham, Edward S. Bessman, Gabor D. Kelen, Walter Atha, Rodica Retezar, Sara C. Bessman, Scott L. Zeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Study objective: We determine whether prescription information or services improve the medication adherence of emergency department (ED) patients. Methods: Adult patients treated at one of 3 EDs between November 2010 and September 2011 and prescribed an antibiotic, central nervous system, gastrointestinal, cardiac, or respiratory drug at discharge were eligible. Subjects were randomly assigned to usual care or one of 3 prescription information or services intervention groups: (1) practical services to reduce barriers to prescription filling (practical prescription information or services); (2) consumer drug information from MedlinePlus (MedlinePlus prescription information or services); or (3) both services and information (combination prescription information or services). Self-reported medication adherence, measured by primary adherence (prescription filling) and persistence (receiving medicine as prescribed) rates, was determined during a telephone interview 1 week postdischarge. Results: Of the 3,940 subjects enrolled and randomly allocated to treatment, 86% (N=3,386) completed the follow-up interview. Overall, primary adherence was 88% and persistence was 48%. Across the sites, primary adherence and persistence did not differ significantly between usual care and the prescription information or services groups. However, at site C, subjects who received the practical prescription information or services (odds ratio [OR]=2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4 to 4.3) or combination prescription information or services (OR=1.8; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.1) were more likely to fill their prescription compared with usual care. Among subjects prescribed a drug that treats an underlying condition, subjects who received the practical prescription information or services were more likely to fill their prescription (OR=1.8; 95% CI 1.0 to 3.1) compared with subjects who received usual care. Conclusion: Prescription filling and receiving medications as prescribed was not meaningfully improved by offering patients patient-centered prescription information and services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-223e1
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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