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Granger BB, Ekman I, Hernandez AF, Sawyer T, Bowers MT, DeWald TA, Zhao Y, Levy J, Bosworth HB. Results of the Chronic Heart Failure Intervention to Improve MEdication Adherence study: A randomized intervention in high-risk patients. American heart journal. 2015 Apr 1; 169(4):539-48.
BACKGROUND: Poor adherence to evidence-based medications in heart failure (HF) is a major cause of avoidable hospitalizations, disability, and death. To test the feasibility of improving medication adherence, we performed a randomized proof-of-concept study of a self-management intervention in high-risk patients with HF. METHODS: Patients with HF who screened positively for poor adherence ( < 6 Morisky Medication Adherence Scale 8-item) were randomized to either the intervention or attention control group. In the intervention group (n = 44), a nurse conducted self-management training before discharge that focused on identification of medication goals, facilitation of medication-symptom associations, and use of a symptom response plan. The attention control group (n = 42) received usual care; both groups received follow-up calls at 1 week. However, the content of follow-up calls for the attention control group was unrelated to HF medications or symptoms. General linear mixed models were used to evaluate the magnitude of change in adherence and symptom-related events at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up clinic visits. Efficacy was measured as improved medication adherence using nurse-assessed pill counts at each time point. RESULTS: Pooled over all time points, patients in the intervention group were more likely to be adherent to medications compared with patients in the attention control group (odds ratio 3.92, t = 3.51, P = .0007). CONCLUSIONS: A nurse-delivered, self-care intervention improved medication adherence in patients with advanced HF. Further work is needed to examine whether this intervention can be sustained to improve clinical outcomes.