Adherence to Hospital Discharge Medication in Patients With Ischemic Stroke
A Prospective, Interventional 2-Phase Study
Background and Purpose—Communication between hospitals and primary care physicians is essential for the continuity of care for patients being transferred from hospital to ambulatory care. Patients are often discharged from hospital on medication regimes different from those used before hospital admission. The aim of the study was to evaluate the adherence to hospital discharge medication in patients with ischemic stroke before and after implementing a systematic approach provided by a clinical pharmacist.
Methods—Patients with transient ischemic attack/ischemic stroke taking ≥2 drugs during hospital stay and at discharge were prospectively recruited. In the control group, the neurologist included the medication list in the discharge letter as before. In the intervention group, the clinical pharmacist listed the medication on admission and at discharge next to each other and gave detailed information for all medication changes during hospital stay.
Results—Overall, 312 patients were enrolled in the study with 156 patients in each group. Significant differences between the control group and intervention group were ascertained with regard to adherence to both antithrombotic drugs (83.8% control group versus 91.9% intervention group [P=0.033]) and to statin therapy (69.8% control group versus 87.7% intervention group [P<0.001]).
Conclusions—Providing detailed information on medication changes can lead to substantially improved adherence to discharge medication, probably resulting in better secondary stroke prevention.
- Received October 12, 2012.
- Revision received November 1, 2012.
- Accepted November 5, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.