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Telephone Reminder Intervention Ups Cardiovascular Rx Adherence

health phone(HealthDay News) — A low-cost telephone reminder intervention can improve adherence to cardiovascular disease medications, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the American Journal of Managed Care.

William M. Vollmer, Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and colleagues conducted a pragmatic clinical trial using a low-cost, electronic medical record-linked telephone reminder intervention. A total of 21,752 adult members of a health maintenance organization were enrolled in a randomized trial to assess whether two phone reminder interventions could improve adherence to statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers versus usual care.

The researchers observed small but statistically significant improvements in adherence (1.6 to 3.7 percentage points across subgroups) among intervention participants. Those using statins had significantly lower lipid levels at follow-up; the greatest reductions were seen in those with poorly controlled low-density lipoprotein cholesterol at baseline. The public health impact of these changes is unknown.

“Our results support the benefit of such programs in improving adherence and provide preliminary evidence for clinical impact,” the authors write. “Future interventions that combine health information technologies-based systems, perhaps with strategies customized to patient preference and more tailored clinical support, offer a promising next step.”

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