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Are caregivers adherent to their own medications
Meyers Primary Care Institute Publications and Presentations
  • William H. Shrank, Harvard Medical School
  • Joshua N. Liberman, Geisinger Health System
  • Michael A. Fischer, Harvard Medical School
  • Elaine Kilabuk, Harvard University
  • Charmaine Girdish, CVS Caremark
  • Sarah L. Cutrona, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Troyen Brennan, CVS Caremark
  • Niteesh K. Choudhry, Harvard Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Meyers Primary Care Institute
Publication Date
Document Type
Medication Adherence; Caregivers

OBJECTIVE: To explore caregiver adherence to chronic medications and predictors of appropriate medication use.

DESIGN: Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study.

SETTING: United States in May 2009.

PARTICIPANTS: 2,000 adults randomly selected from a large national consumer panel.

INTERVENTION: Web-based survey of community pharmacy patients.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Self-reported medication adherence.

RESULTS: 21% of those invited (3,775) responded to the survey invitation. Of the 2,000 individuals who were eligible to participate, 38% described themselves as caregivers. Among caregivers, 45% agreed that they were more likely to forget their own medications than medications for their caregivees. Caregivers were 10% more likely to forget to take their medications, 11% more likely to stop taking medications if they felt well, and 13% more likely to forget to refill their medications than noncare-givers (P < 0.001 for all). In fully adjusted models, caregivers had 36% greater odds (95% CI 0.52-0.79) of reporting that they were nonadherent compared with noncare-givers and increased medication use among caregivees was associated with worse adherence among caregivers (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: Medication nonadherence was common in this population, and caregivers were more likely to report poor medication adherence than noncaregivers. Considering that caregivers often engage health professionals, physicians and pharmacists may choose to screen for caregiving status. Pharmacists are uniquely positioned to intervene to enhance appropriate medication adherence.

DOI of Published Version
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2011 Jul-Aug;51(4):492-8. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
William H. Shrank, Joshua N. Liberman, Michael A. Fischer, Elaine Kilabuk, et al.. "Are caregivers adherent to their own medications" Vol. 51 Iss. 4 (2011) ISSN: 1086-5802 (Linking)
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