A Meta-analysis of Interventions to Increase Adherence to Medication Regimens for Pediatric Otitis Media and Streptococcal Pharyngitis

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ObjectiveThe current study quantitatively synthesized the adherence intervention literature for two common acute childhood illnesses and examined the magnitude of change in adherence as indicated by different outcome measures and the relationship between type of intervention and adherence outcome.MethodsMeta-analysis was used to synthesize the results of 12 interventions to increase medication adherence in pediatric otitis media and streptococcal pharyngitis. Effect sizes were analyzed using homogeneity tests and an analog to the analysis of variance.ResultsCombination interventions were more effective than single strategy interventions. However, families receiving educational interventions alone did not demonstrate better adherence than control groups. Indirect measures of adherence showed more change in adherence than direct measures.ConclusionsFurther work is needed to develop effective interventions for improving adherence for the medication regimens required for short-term illness and for optimizing health outcomes.

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