Monday, June 16, 2014

Getting sick kids to take their medicine

Jeanne Whalen, WSJ, June 9, 2013, says docs and hosps are looking for ways to get chronically ill kids to take their meds.

At least half those with prescriptions take them incorrectly (Pediatrics, Sept 2013).

This can increase costs and misery (at least $8K a year for moderate adherence and $14K for low adherence on the part of cystic fibrosis patients).

Hosps can send emails or put meds in bottles that monitor when they are opened, but home life can be more of a factor.

Cincinnati Children's studied low-income African-American teens with asthma.

They got counseling--take your meds and you can play sports better, argue with your parents less.

They also got cellphones with text reminders.

The treatment group experienced better control.

Another study at Children's Hosp in DC focused on parents with their own issues. They got counseling and monitors on their kids' inhalers to show them how many puffs the kids took.

Some self-reporting of when people took meds was ineffective--blood tests showed they were not truthful.

Meds after transplants are particularly vital--the children themselves must be cooperative and on top of it.

Around about age 10--they can be a big part of their own health.

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