Cochrane Summaries

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Interventions for enhancing adherence to prescribed medications

Haynes RB, Ackloo E, Sahota N, McDonald HP, Yao X
Published Online: 
8 October 2008

Many people do not take their medication as prescribed. Our review considered trials of ways to help people follow prescriptions. For short-term drug treatments, counseling, written information and personal phone calls helped. For long-term treatments, no simple intervention, and only some complex ones, led to improvements in health outcomes. They included combinations of more convenient care, information, counseling, reminders, self-monitoring, reinforcement, family therapy, psychological therapy, mailed communications, crisis intervention, manual telephone follow-up, and other forms of additional supervision or attention. Even with the most effective methods for long-term treatments, improvements in drug use or health were not large. Several studies showed that telling people about adverse effects of their medications did not affect their use of the medications.

This record should be cited as: 
Haynes RB, Ackloo E, Sahota N, McDonald HP, Yao X. Interventions for enhancing medication adherence. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD000011. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000011.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
31 January 2007