In a recently published Kaiser Permanente SC study, researchers dissected reasons why patients passed on cholesterol-lowering medication. The study, published in The American Journal of Managed Care journal, stressed that many individuals pass on preventive medications based on preconceived concerns about lifestyle modifying medications.
Patients who chose to not fill their first prescription for cholesterol-lowering medication have a wide field of rationale for doing so, including distrust of lifestyle altering drugs and resolving to modify their lifestyles without medical intervention.
The prevalence study provides more solid evidence as to what causes “qualitative nonadherence,” a situation in which a patient does not proceed with their primary prescription. 100 Kaiser Permanente SC members with unfilled statin cholesterol-lowering medication were interviewed for the study. Researchers found that 53% percent of the patients interviewed did not fulfill their prescription because they had concerns regarding potential side effects of the medication and 63% said they would rather investigate other forms of lifestyle modification before medication.
"If a patient is prescribed a statin medication, it's important for their health that they take the medicine as prescribed by their health care professional. Understanding why some patients choose not to fill these prescriptions will help us create strategies to increase medication adherence and, hopefully, help more patients mitigate the health risks associated with high cholesterol," stated study author Teresa Harrison. "Our study found that patients' reasons for primary nonadherence are varied, which suggests that individually tailored interventions could be helpful in increasing medication adherence."
Researchers also discovered that over a third of the participants were inadequately informed regarding their health situation, with nearly twenty percent needing aid to read through medical material, seventeen percent reporting issues learning about their condition, and thirty percent communicating a lack of confidence completing relevant health forms.
"Our findings also suggest that physicians need to engage patients in a discussion about their medications at the time of the initial prescription, using lay terminology, and perhaps educational materials such as handouts that cater to their low-literacy levels," commented Teresa Harrison. "It is also important that patients feel empowered to discuss any questions or concerns they have about their medications with their physicians at the time the medication is prescribed."
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises that high cholesterol is a decisive risk factor for the development for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of premature death in America. Get help reducing your cholesterol and get educated about cholesterol-lowering medication utilizing a local heart attack support group.