Pharmacy student adherence to a simulated medication regimen

By | May 1, 2012

A Tweet from Anthony Cox (@drarcox) led me to this article in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

In this study, 72 second-year pharmacy students were given “medications” (Starburst JellyBeans) to take with varying administration schedules. The table below shows the results of the little experiment, and it speaks volumes.

Not surprisingly a “once daily” regimen was the easiest to follow, but still resulted in more than 10% of the doeses being missed. As the regimens grew in complexity, the percentage of missed doses increased.

We did a similar experiment with M&M’s when I was a pharmacy student at UCSF. The results were similar, i.e. the more complex the regimen, the harder it was to adhere.

Oh, and these were pharmacy students we’re talking about here. What do you think happens when you ask the average non-healthcare professional to adhere to a medication regimen?

The entire article is available for free here.

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