Changing behaviour to improve adherence to asthma medication

CLAHRC behaviour change researchers and PhDs Caroline Katzer and Marissa Mes were a big hit at the recent in ESPACOMP conference in Budapest Hungary. Caroline and Marissa presented to an audience of clinicians and allied health professionals interested in adherence

ESPACOMP (European Society for Patient Adherence, COMpliance and Persistence) promotes science concerned with the assessment of what patients do with medicines they have been prescribed – and the implications when they adhere, or don’t adhere to them. Their 2017 conference brought together behaviour change practitioners and researchers from across the world and both Marissa and Caroline’s presentation generated much interest and a host of questions from the audience.

Both Caroline and Marissa are conducting their PhDs as as part of our wider work examining the effectiveness of  the ‘Perceptions and Practicalities Intervention’ (PAPI) in improving adherence to asthma medication.

 

Marissa (above) is investigating the effectiveness of pharmacists as the delivery channel of a theory-based intervention to support medication adherence in adults with asthma.

Caroline is focusing her PhD on developing the PAPI intervention to support adherence to maintenance treatment in adult asthma patients.

Both fielded questions from pharmacists interested in how their research/academic findings were going to be translated into pharmacy practice, and how feasible this would be.

How can we all best use scientific evidence?

Media coverage of the use of statins to prevent cardiovascular disease, of Tamiflu to treat flu and of the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer have opened up public debate about medical and scientific claims.

CLAHRC researcher and leader of our behaviour change theme Professor Rob Horne (pictured below) has helped produce new resources for professionals and patients to improve the way evidence about medicines is communicated.

Professor Horne is part of a prestigious Oversight Group within the Academy of Medical Sciences looking at how scientific evidence around medicines can best be communicated and understood.

Their report entitled Enhancing the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines aims to address problems that can arise from poor-quality evidence about medicines, or misrepresentation or misperception of evidence.

The report and associated resources will help health professionals to improve the use of scientific evidence to judge the potential benefits and harms of medicines. This will lead to better, more informed conversations between professional and patient about the benefits and risks of prescribing (or not prescribing) a particular medicine.

Other resources produced as part of this work include a pocket guide for patients entitled Helping you decide whether to take a medicine