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The utility of an electronic adherence assessment device in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study of single medication

Authors Kheir N, Greer W, Yousif, Al-Geed H, Al Okkah R, Zirie MA, Sandridge A, Zaidan M

Published 7 July 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 247—254


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Nadir Kheir1, William Greer2, Adil Yousif3, Hajer Al-Geed1, Randa Al Okkah1, Mahmoud Zirie4, Amy Sandridge5, Manal Zaidan6

1College of Pharmacy, 2Sidra Medical and Research Centre, 3Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, 4Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; 5Private Research Consultant, 6Al Amal Cancer Centre, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Objectives: The primary objective of this pilot study was to determine if the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) is capable of providing meaningful estimates of compliance within the indigenous Qatari population. The secondary objective was to highlight any specific problems which might be associated with the use of MEMS within this population.

Method: A sample of adult diabetic Qatari patients attending an outpatient diabetic clinic were administered a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices (KAP) questionnaire and then dispensed one of their regular medications in a MEMS®-fitted bottle. Data contained in the MEMS® were downloaded after the patients returned for a refill and adherence was estimated using 2 methods: pill count and MEMS® data.

Results: A total of 54 patients agreed to participate in this pilot study. Adherence to daily doses was 67.7% and with regimen 13.7%. No correlation was found between adherence assessed by pill count and MEMS®. The association between KAP and adherence was generally poor. A number of other issues and challenges in the use of MEMS® that could affect its utility were noted and will be discussed.

Conclusions: Our results revealed problems associated with the use of MEMS® that could affect its usefulness in assessing adherence in this part of the world. Some issues identified in this pilot study included retrieving the MEMS®, registering extra opening of MEMS®, desire to hoard medicine by taking doses at different frequency than recorded in MEMS®. All these issues could be closely associated with the attitudes and practices of the patients, as demonstrated by our KAP analysis and correlations.

Keywords: Medication Events Monitoring System (MEMS), type 2 diabetes mellitus, drug therapy, medication adherence

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