Study Objective. To determine the relationship between adherence to diuretic therapy and health care utilization. Design. Prospective, observational study. Setting. University-affiliated medical center. Patients. Forty-two patients with heart failure. Intervention. Electronic monitoring of adherence to diuretic therapy (percentage of diuretic prescription container openings) and to scheduling (percentage of container openings within a specific time). Measurements and Main Results. All patients were prescribed a diuretic, most commonly furosemide (88%). Patients varied widely in adherence to therapy (p = 72% ± 30%) and to scheduling (p = 43% ± 30%). Education was a predictor of drug-taking adherence (p=0.0062) but not of scheduling adherence. Log-linear models revealed that poor scheduling adherence was associated with increased cardiovascular-related hospitalizations (X2 11.63, p=0.0006) and predicted more heart failure-related hospitalizations (X2 4.04, p=0.0444). In contrast, neither measure was significantly associated with cardiovascular- or heart failure-related emergency department visits. We found a moderate correlation between scheduling adherence and taking adherence (r = 0.6513). Conclusion. Patients taking a greater proportion of diuretic agents on schedule may decrease the risk of cardiovascular- and heart failure-related hospitalizations. If these findings are confirmed by a larger study, interventions to improve adherence and patient health outcomes should consider the timing of doses as well as the number of daily doses of a diuretic.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)