The Value of Medication-Specific Education on Medication Adherence and Treatment Outcome in Patients with Chronic Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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Objective. Non-adherence to pain medication is common and may jeopardize the effect of prescribed therapy in chronic pain patients. We investigated the effect of medication-specific education on pain medication adherence.

Methods. One hundred eligible chronic pain patients were randomized into a control or intervention group. They were assessed during an intake (T0) and two follow-up visits after 4 (T1) and 10 weeks (T2). Immediately after T1, patients in the intervention group additionally watched a video and received written information about the medication prescribed. At T1 and T2, medication adherence according to self-reporting including the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale, prescription knowledge, pain intensity numeric rating scale (NRS), concerns about medication, and patient satisfaction were recorded.

Results. Experimental group (control versus intervention) did not significantly contribute to the prediction of medication adherence at T2 (P = 0.38). The non-adherence rates were 31% and 43% at T1 and 53% and 49% at T2 in the control and intervention group, respectively. Changes in patients’ knowledge of the prescription were attributable to the intervention (P < 0.01). No other significant differences were identified.

Conclusions. Medication-specific education did increase knowledge of the prescribed therapy but did not improve adherence or treatment outcome parameters. There was no association between medication adherence and pain treatment outcome.

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