Navigation Links
Increasing ICS compliance: The voice may be recorded, but the results are real

ATS 2009, SAN DIEGOAutomated phone calling may help physicians solve a perennial problem: patients who don't take medicine prescribed for chronic health conditions.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, in Portland, Oregon, tested an automated calling service designed to encourage patients with asthma to fill or refill their prescriptions for inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).

The research will be presented on May 17 at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.

"The trial demonstrated a modest, but statistically significant, improvement in compliance," said William M. Vollmer, Ph.D., senior investigator at the center, who led the trial. "And even a small change in adherence can potentially produce a big public health benefit, especially when the disease is as prevalent as asthma."

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, about 22 million Americans have asthma, most need to take medicine daily for long-term control of the disease and ICS are the preferred medicines for gaining that control.

The 18-month-long trial involved approximately 8,600 members enrolled in the integrated health system in the Northwest United States and Hawaii. Member participants were randomized to usual care and to the phone calling system.

The study found that the calls increased estimated medication adherence two percent beyond the compliance of patients receiving usual care (40 percent versus 38 percent; p< .01). Among those 60 years of age and older, medication adherence rose four percent.

Dr. Vollmer's presentation at the ATS International Conference will focus on the study's primary outcome: medication adherence. Future analyses will assess the intervention's impact on healthcare utilization and quality of life, as well as the cost-effectiveness of the automated calling system.

The study used Kaiser Permanente's electronic medical records to identify who should be called and what message they should hear. One message was for those who had just become eligible for a refill. Another message targeted those who were past due for a refill. And a third message was designed for first-time users or those who had not had an ICS dispensing for at least six months.

The calls were short, typically lasting no more than two to three minutes. About 40 percent of calls made reached their target participant; messages were left for another 45 percent of calls.

While most of the calls were constructed around simple questions requiring a 'yes' or a 'no' response, Dr. Vollmer said the calls had "a lot of branching logic" to them. They were, for instance, able to explore level of symptom control and barriers to compliance.

For someone late in refilling his or her prescription, Dr. Vollmer noted that the computer might ask, "Many people with asthma don't take their controller medicines when they feel well. Is that ever true for you?" Those answering yes would then hear a brief message about the difference between relievers and controllers and why the latter should be taken every day.

Alternatively, Dr. Vollmer noted, the computer might ask if the participant's asthma wakes him/her up at night or interferes with daily activities. For someone who said yes, the computer might respond, "With regular use of ICS, this doesn't need to be the case."

During the call, participants could choose to refill their prescription through Kaiser's automated service. They could also choose to speak to a real person.

Part of the success of the calls, Dr. Vollmer noted, was how "natural" the voice of the caller sounded. Although those called were told they were speaking with a computer, the voice was a human one that captured the intonation and rhythm of speakers from the geographic areas of the HMO members.

Dr. Vollmer and his colleagues hope to conduct a similar study on patients with cardiovascular disease, reminding them to refill three different medications. In addition to phone message, the researchers are considering integrating e-mail messages into the automated outreach program. As Dr. Vollmer noted, "We want to be able to tailor the messages to fit the patient's preferred communication style."


Contact: Keely Savoie
American Thoracic Society

Related medicine news :

1. Learning and Moving, a GeoFitness Solution for Preventing Obesity in Children and Increasing School Success
2. Healthcare Gathering Addresses Increasing Need of Caring for the Nations Elderly Population
3. Americans United for Life Condemns Ruling Increasing Minors Access to Dangerous Plan B
4. Eczema in children is increasing, but diet is not the cause
5. CT Scans of Pregnant Women Increasing
6. National Hispanic Medical Association Conference in NYC Focuses on Increasing the Latino Health Care Workforce
7. Study tracks increasing use of CT on pregnant women
8. Surveyed Oncologists Indicate that Avastin has Advantages over Temodar/Temodal in Increasing Overall Survival of High-Grade Glioma
9. Patients, Senate, House Members Identify Significant Medicare Savings While Increasing Quality of Patient Care
10. LSUHSC research may benefit diabetes by increasing understanding of how to control islet cell growth
11. The Female Health Company Reports First Quarter Operating Results, as Gross Profit Margins Widen on Increasing Sales of FC2 Female Condom(R)
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The print component of “Supporting ... Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, South Florida, with a circulation of approximately 250,000 ... through a vast social media strategy and across a network of top news ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of its ... 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population - ... estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle Li, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... a member of the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as ... is an independent group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... you start failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the ... best income protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its ... exclusive list of CAAHEP accredited colleges, as only one of twelve colleges and universities ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing ... to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The market ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> --> This ... the Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring market, including emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: