Motivational interviewing for medication adherence

Medication adherence is very important. Patients have to adhere to their medication regiment in order for the medications to produce the best therapeutic response. Medication adherence stems from patient’s internal motivation, which can be stimulated through motivational interviewing.

The study did a telephone survey in 2015 targeting adults over 40 years old, who are currently on at least one prescription medication for chronic illnesses. It was found that about 75% of the 1,020 respondents had engaged in at least one nonadherent behavior within the past year and 50% had multiple nonadherent incidents. The most common behaviors include missing a dose, not refilling the medication on time, self-initiate a lower dose than prescribed, and discontinuation of a prescribed medication without consulting the doctor. Medication adherence is a very common problem and contributes to 33-69% increase in medication-related hospitalization.

The article suggests that motivational interviewing may be the key to change patients’ nonadherent behaviors. Results from a meta-analysis show that there is a 19% increase in noncompliance in patients who has poor communication with their health care provider or pharmacists. The change talk in motivational interviewing is essential in brining about changes in patients. In the cases of patient brining up possible changes for better adherence, it is important to help the patient identify the pros and cons of adhering to the medication regiment. Through recognizing and affirming patients’ feelings and desires to make changes in order to better adhere to their medications, pharmacists can help develop patient’s motivation and reinforce their commitment to make good and healthy changes.

I agree that motivational interviewing allows pharmacists to better identify the barriers that are keeping patients from adhering to their medication regimen and helps encourages medication adherence. Although time remains as the primacy concern in regards to incorporating motivational interviewing into actual practice, I believe it is worthwhile to be implemented into pharmacist’s routine since it is very helpful in identifying and solving drug therapy problems.

Salvo MC, Cannon-Breland ML. Motivation interviewing for medication adherence. JAPhA. 2015;55(4).

1 thought on “Motivational interviewing for medication adherence”

  1. This article is really relevant to what we are learning in class right now. We learned about motivational interviewing and its benefits just a couple weeks ago. I think motivational interviewing should be implemented into daily pharmacist practice but it should also be implemented in other professions in the healthcare field. If the patient was motivated at the beginning of their drug therapy, then there will probably be a decrease in the percentage of non-adherence behaviors.

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