COPD Patients: Low Adherence to Meds
Managing a chronic medical condition like COPD involves following a treatment plan. According to a recent study published online in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society, about 57% of older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease adhered to their prescribed medication schedule in the first month following their diagnosis. Within 6 months, that percentage dropped to just 35%, and over the course of 2 years, only 22% of patients achieved more than 80% adherence to their medicine.
Low adherence rates occur more frequently in COPD patients who have one or more additional medical conditions—including depression—which is common in people with COPD, affecting about 20% of patients. Researchers suggest that comorbid conditions decrease adherence, "possibly through complex medication regimens or patient prioritization of one comorbid illness over another."
COPD is a progressive disease and adherence to a prescribed medication schedule is an important part of treatment. People who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should follow their health care providers' recommendations and seek help if they experience symptoms of depression.
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