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Review: evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to assist patient adherence to prescribed medications is limited

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 QUESTION: In non-addicted patients with medical or mental disorders, are interventions designed to assist adherence to self administered prescribed medications effective?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline, CINAHL, PsycLIT, SOCIOFILE, IPA, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, and the Cochrane Library (all from 1967 to August 2001). Bibliographies of relevant articles were reviewed, and authors of included studies were contacted for additional trials.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were unconfounded randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions to improve adherence with self administered prescribed medications for a medical or psychiatric disorder, measured both medication adherence and treatment outcome, had ≥80% follow up of each group studied, and the duration of follow up for studies with positive initial findings was ≥6 months.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on sample size, details of intervention strategies for adherence, details of treatment for the underlying medical or mental disorder, study quality, …

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