Boosting Medication Adherence After Stroke or TIA

Adherence to secondary prevention medications is crucial for stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) survivors. Yet, various factors influence whether patients stick to their prescribed regimens. A recent study sheds light on these factors, offering actionable insights.

Study Scope
The study focused on 365 patients from the STROKE 69 cohort, analyzing their adherence to antihypertensive, antidiabetic, lipid-lowering, and antithrombotic medications over three years.

Adherence Rates
Optimal adherence rates (≥90%) were 61% in the first year, 62% in the second, and 65% in the third year. This gradual improvement suggests a positive trend but highlights room for further enhancement.

Influencing Factors

  • Education: Patients with at least a high school diploma were more likely to have lower adherence.
  • Depression: Higher depression scores were linked to reduced adherence.
  • Heart Rhythm Disorders: A history of these disorders was associated with better adherence, possibly due to increased medical oversight.

Strategies for Improvement

Education and Support
Tailored educational programs addressing the importance of medication adherence can help. Healthcare providers should focus on personalized communication strategies to improve understanding and commitment.

Mental Health Integration
Incorporating mental health support into the treatment plan for stroke or TIA survivors can address depression-related adherence issues. Regular screenings and accessible mental health resources are essential.

Enhanced Monitoring
Patients with complex medical histories, such as heart rhythm disorders, benefit from closer monitoring. Expanding this approach to all stroke or TIA survivors can ensure timely interventions and support.

Practical Tips for Healthcare Providers

  • Regular Follow-Ups: Schedule frequent check-ins to discuss medication routines and address concerns.
  • Clear Instructions: Provide straightforward, written instructions and use digital tools for reminders.
  • Patient-Centered Care: Understand each patient’s unique challenges and adapt strategies accordingly.

By addressing these factors, healthcare providers can significantly improve medication adherence, ultimately enhancing the quality of life and outcomes for stroke and TIA survivors.

Additional Resources

By addressing these factors and utilizing available resources, healthcare providers can significantly improve medication adherence, ultimately enhancing the quality of life and outcomes for stroke and TIA survivors.