Utah: University Professor to Study Meds Compliance in HIV Patients
May 21, 2007
A national study to assess AIDS drug adherence will seek to determine the characteristics of patients who adhere to therapy well or poorly. Poorly adherent patients may need to start treatment later to avoid drug resistance. To help clinicians make that decision, a checklist could be developed to predict patient adherence, says a University of Utah College of Pharmacy researcher.
"We can improve the health of a lot of patients if we figure out why they don't take their medications and how we can help them to improve their medication-taking behavior," said Joanne Lafleur, a research assistant professor. "We have this wonderful drug technology that's not being optimally utilized."
Using a database of 7,000 veterans' health records, Lafleur will analyze demographic, socioeconomic, and pharmacologic variables for the study. Preliminary results could be in by next year, setting the stage for a predictive tool, she said.
Already, doctors know that HIV patients who are dependent on drugs or alcohol, depressed or who do not trust their physician are less likely to be adherent. Conversely, adherent patients are likelier to know the health benefits of their medication, have the support of family and friends, and keep their appointments.
The study is being supported by a grant from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation and is being sponsored by the drug maker Abbott.
Salt Lake Tribune
05.14.07; Heather May
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.