Cost matters, but new VA / U-M study suggests lack of trust in doctors, depression play a big role too
Patients who trust their doctors are more likely to stick to their prescription medicines, even if they face high out-of-pocket costs, a new study finds. But patients who have lower levels of trust in their physicians, or who have depression-like symptoms, are much more likely to skip doses or refills when costs become a problem for them.
Those findings, from a new study of 912 patients with diabetes, provide evidence that the quality of the doctor-patient relationship can greatly affect patients’ medication use when drug costs become a burden. The study reinforces the importance of the doctor-patient relationship in helping patients adhere to medicines, and has implications for how doctors talk with patients -- not only about what a medicine will do for them, but also about their ability to pay for it and the availability of lower-cost options.
The research, from a team at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare Center and the University of Michigan, will be published in the August 8/22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The data are from a larger VA-funded study of diabetes care at five health care systems around the nation.
Kara Gavin | EurekAlert!
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