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Adherence to the Medications You Prescribe for Your Patients: New Study Brings a Dose of Reality

November 2, 2022

When we prescribe an oral antibiotic, most of us assume that our patient will receive it is recommended. How correct is this assumption?

Youngster et al (10.1542/peds.2022-058281) share a study of adherence to short-term antibiotic therapy in young children using a unique method –a prospective observational study using electronically monitored medication bottles. The authors enrolled 100 children between 2 months of age and 5 years and found that overall adherence was 62%, adherence to the timing of medicine was only 21%. Only 11 children received all the recommended doses at the recommended times. What makes this study even more interesting is that prescribers were asked to predict which family adherence. There accuracy of these predictions was poor.

What can we do to improve adherence? The authors underscore the importance of counseling all families about adherence. The results of this study may be hard for some of us to swallow who think our prescriptions are being taken as recommended—but are worth digesting and improving upon. This study may give you ideas on how to do that—so link to it and learn more.   

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