Proposed Protocol Taps Occupational Therapist for Assistance With MS Medication Adherence

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The current 50% rate of medication nonadherence in MS contributes to increased hospitalizations and worsened health.
The current 50% rate of medication nonadherence in MS contributes to increased hospitalizations and worsened health.
The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in Nashville, Tennesssee. Neurology Advisor's staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from CMSC 2018.

A proposed protocol for medication management to help promote adherence in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) includes assessing impediments to adherence through the use of occupational profiles. This research was presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, held May 30-June 2, 2018, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The current 50% rate of medication nonadherence in MS contributes to increased hospitalizations and worsened health. Despite this, protocols for interventions and measuring adherence are limited in occupational therapy facilities. This protocol is intended to improve the methods by which clinicians assess, treat, and measure medication adherence in individuals with MS.

The protocol authors propose a more objective method of managing medication adherence through a profile performed by an occupational therapist. This profile identifies potential barriers to adherence that can include physical, psychosocial, cognitive, and visual factors. 

Standardized assessments such as the patient-reported Morisky Medication Adherence Scale are helpful in identifying behaviors that correspond with medication management and can help occupational therapists determine the effectiveness of any interventions performed. 

Additional support includes tracking systems such as checklists and apps that help keep track of medication adherence. 

The protocol also specifies intervention procedures. These include providing medical literacy education tailored to individual patients, integrating medication practices into routines that have already been established, creating different tactics depending on individual clients' needs (such as presorting medications or using pillboxes), and using technology such as apps and alarms to assist in medication adherence.

The researchers concluded that, although “the protocol has been useful in improving ability to objectively measure interventions, further research is required to evaluate the effectiveness of the protocol in improving medication adherence in the MS population.”

Reference

Goldman D, Singh N. Tracking your meds: a new protocol for medication adherence with multiple sclerosis outpatient population. Presented at: 2018 CMSC Annual Meeting. May 30-June 2, 2018; Nashville, TN. Abstract RH18. 

For more coverage of CMSC 2018, click here.
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