Researchers from Northern Ireland and the Gold Coast have identified bronchiectasis patients who are the least likely to adhere to medications.
In a study of 75 patients the team found that age, beliefs about treatment, the number of prescribed medications and perceived treatment burden all predicted adherence to medications.
“Beliefs about treatment were stronger predictors of adherence status than the factors that currently inform treatment decision-making in clinical practice e.g. FEV1 % predicted and quality of life,” they wrote in Respiratory Medicine.
Knowing this information may help clinicians identify which of their patients may be at more risk of non-adherence, they said.
And while all the risk factors were not modifiable (e.g. age) some could be worked on, they said. For example the need for all treatments prescribed for bronchiectasis and other co-existing conditions could be rationalised.
“Clinicians could work with patients to prioritise treatments to maximise adherence,” they suggested.
“As new treatments for bronchiectasis continue to be investigated it will be important for clinicians to explore patients’ beliefs about these new treatments as well as beliefs about existing treatments,” they said.
The most effective ways of eliciting and changing beliefs about treatment in bronchiectasis were unknown and more research was needed, they added.