Medication adherence for CF

Medication adherence explained to non-scientific CF patients / parents


What is medication adherence ?

Doctors prescribe medications but patients miss on average 50% of their pills / treatments. Medication adherence is the rate of taken treatments over the prescribed treatments.

For instance, if you have to take a pill everyday and you forget once a week then your medication adherence is 6/7, which is 86%.

Why should CF patients care about it ?

Obviously, you know doctors prescribe medications because they are good for your health. So let’s focus on the relationship (correlation) between medication adherence and CF patients’ health.

In this section, we discuss scientific research that tends to prove the following assertion:

If you take your meds properly: it is very likely that your FEV will not decrease and you will have fewer exacerbations.

If you agree with this assertion and you want to skip the simplified analysis of the research study, you can directly go to the next section: “What can you do about it ? ”. Otherwise, buckle up for some graph analysis…

I would like to mention the following research study:

LONGITUDINAL ASSOCIATION BETWEEN MEDICATION ADHERENCE AND LUNG HEALTH IN PEOPLE WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS

In essence, they studied 95 CF patients 6 years and older during a year, in order to see the health outcomes of better medication adherence.

The science and the resulting graphs are a bit complex, so I will try to explain the graphs and put the results in simple words.

Let’s start with the graph of FEV evolution in time for different adherence rates (MPR for Medication Possession ratio).

Darkest line is for patients with medic. adherence 80% or more.

Lightest line is for patients with medic. adherence less than 50%.

Result: patients with better medication adherence have better and stable FEVs.

If you take your meds properly your FEV will not decrease.

This conclusion is true on average for a group of patients, even though it’s not guaranteed for every individual.

The second graph is unfortunately even more difficult to understand for non-scientists. But it is very important, so I’ll try to explain it too.

Medication adherence rates grouped by number of exacerbations in a year

The first block corresponds to patients with no exacerbations.

The last block corresponds to patients with 3 or more exacerb.

Result: Patients with fewer exacerbations were those with better medic adherence.

If you take your meds properly you will have fewer exacerbations.

This conclusion is true on average for a group of patients, even though it’s not guaranteed for every individual.

What can you do about it ? Install the Pilly app !

First of all, treatments for CF tend to be pretty intense and time consuming, thus we know it’s not easy to be fully adherent to your treatment.

Once this is said, we have seen research shows that increasing your own medication adherence rate is good for your health, so we are launching a Smartphone initiative to facilitate your medication process. It uses innovative motivation techniques to raise your medication adherence rate.

The Pilly Team, provides personalized help for this initiative, so please e-mail us stanford-cf-study@pilly.me for any question or remark you may have about medication adherence or the specific installation or use of the iPhone app. It will be our pleasure to help you !

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Manuel Acevedo’s story.