A drug by any other name: Patients' ability to identify medication regimens and its association with adherence and health outcomes

Jennifer L. Lenahan*, Danielle M. McCarthy, Terry C. Davis, Laura M. Curtis, Marina Serper, Michael S. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding and organizing medication regimens can be challenging, and many patients struggle to properly dose prescribed medicine, potentially leading to less effective treatment or even harm. Generic prescriptions are increasingly common and may change in appearance, adding further complexity. The authors aimed to investigate familiarity with the drug regimen among a cohort of patients with diagnosed hypertension. Specifically, they determined the prevalence of patients' knowledge of their prescribed drug names and dosages compared to those who relied only on physical characteristics (size, shape, color) of their medications. The relationship between patients' identification strategies, self-reported adherence, and health outcomes (blood pressure control, hospitalization) were investigated. Patients who were dependent on the visual identification of their prescription medicine reported worse adherence. In addition, they had significantly lower rates of blood pressure control and greater risk of hospitalization. The ability to identify prescribed medicines by name may be helpful for screening and responding to patients at greater risk of making medication errors or being less engaged with their regimen for adherence purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume18
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A drug by any other name: Patients' ability to identify medication regimens and its association with adherence and health outcomes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this