Online Program

Medication adherence and seizures: An assessment among patients receiving tertiary treatment and their opinions about what's helpful

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Angelia M. Paschal, PhD, Department of Health Science, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between antiepileptic drug adherence (AED) and seizures among patients receiving care at a tertiary epilepsy center and to assess their recommended strategies for improvement. Research suggests that even among patients that take their AEDs, few are 100% compliant. Failure to comply puts patients at increased risk for further seizures. As a public health issue, medication adherence and chronic conditions in vulnerable populations needs further attention.

METHOD: A mailed survey was used to examine AED adherence and seizures among patients receiving care at a tertiary epilepsy center. Survey items included questions about medication dosing, possibility of seizures occurring after omitted doses, barriers, demographics, and strategies for change. SPSS 20.0 was used to analyze the data.

RESULTS: The sample was 180 participants (37% response rate). The majority reported taking AED twice a day. About 29% (n=53) reported they never missed a dose of medication. About 68% (n=122) reported they have forgotten, missed or skipped a dose of their AED, with “forgetting” being the main reason (n=120; 67%). A third (33%; n=59) indicated that on average they missed a dose of medication once per month. Also 33% said they experienced seizures when they missed a dose.

DISCUSSION: Findings indicated that even among those that receive the most specialized epileptic care, that AED adherence and adverse outcomes are still problematic. The patients' recommended strategies for improving adherence are outlined. Implications for public health research and clinical applications are described.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe medication use and adherence in epilepsy patients receiving tertiary care. Discuss seizure frequency and other outcomes for failure to adhere to medication regimens in study sample. Describe patients’ opinions about what helps or might help them adhere to their medication regimen. Discuss the implications for public health research and clinical applications for this study.

Keyword(s): Disease Management, Adult Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am committed to translational health disparities research by using my work to help develop clinical and community applications to address the needs of medically vulnerable populations. My efforts on two CDC-funded epilepsy studies to examine epilepsy in disadvantaged populations and my other work with patients in epilepsy clinics and centers have resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and presentations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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