Compliance with oral self-administered allopurinol (daily medication) and prednisone (intermittent medication) as well as compliance with monthly scheduled clinic appointments were examined in 108 patients with newly diagnosed hematologic malignancy. Baseline levels of compliance (control group) were compared to results obtained after implementation of three intervention packages, whose aim was to increase compliance. The packages included combinations of education, home psychologic support and restructuring, and training in pill taking. A 24-hour profile of the two drugs and their metabolites was first determined. Serum samples were then obtained monthly over 6 months and analyzed for presence of the drugs. Control patients were fully compliant with allopurinol only 16.8% of the time. This rate increased significantly (44% to 48% of the time) for those who received any one of the intervention programs. With respect to prednisone, control patients were compliant 26.8% of the time, with no real improvement after interventions. Finally, self reports overestimated compliance by a factor of two when compared to drug analysis. The results indicated that full compliance with oral medications was remarkably low among our patients who have treatable and in some cases curable hematologic malignancy. However, compliance can be significantly improved by the use of various intervention packages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research