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Association between addressing antiseizure drug side effects and patient-reported medication adherence in epilepsy

Authors Moura LMVR, Carneiro TS, Cole AJ, Hsu J, Vickrey BG, Hoch DB

Received 17 August 2016

Accepted for publication 5 September 2016

Published 31 October 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 2197—2207


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Lidia M V R Moura,1 Thiago S Carneiro,1 Andrew J Cole,1 John Hsu,2,3 Barbara G Vickrey,4 Daniel B Hoch1

1Department of Neurology, 2Mongan Institute for Health Policy, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 3Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 4Department of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

Background and aim: Adherence to treatment is a critical component of epilepsy management. This study examines whether addressing antiepileptic drug (AED) side effects at every visit is associated with increased patient-reported medication adherence.
Patients and methods: This study identified 243 adults with epilepsy who were seen at two academic outpatient neurology settings and had at least two visits over a 3-year period. Demographic and clinical characteristics were abstracted. Evidence that AED side effects were addressed was measured through 1) phone interview (patient-reported) and 2) medical records abstraction (physician-documented). Medication adherence was assessed using the validated Morisky Medication Adherence Scale-4. Complete adherence was determined as answering “no” to all questions.
Results: Sixty-two (25%) patients completed the interviews. Participants and nonparticipants were comparable with respect to demographic and clinical characteristics; however, a smaller proportion of participants had a history of drug-resistant epilepsy than nonparticipants (17.7% vs 30.9%, P=0.04). Among the participants, evidence that AED side effects were addressed was present in 48 (77%) medical records and reported by 51 (82%) patients. Twenty-eight (45%) patients reported complete medication adherence. The most common reason for incomplete adherence was missed medication due to forgetfulness (n=31, 91%). There was no association between addressing AED side effects (neither physician-documented nor patient-reported) and complete medication adherence (P=0.22 and 0.20).
Discussion and conclusion: Among patients with epilepsy, addressing medication side effects at every visit does not appear to increase patient-reported medication adherence.

Keywords: epilepsy, antiepileptic drug side effects, medication adherence

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