Until now, the extent to which the guidance of patients could be improved to promote the correct use of medication had been unclear. Researchers at Maastricht University, collaborating with researchers from Wageningen University and the University of Sussex (UK), have now come to the striking conclusion that the percentage of successfully treated patients could increase by approximately forty per cent with optimum guidance. They have written about their findings in a study into the quality of guidance provided in the treatment of HIV in Archives of Internal Medicine (9 February).
Four out of ten patients being treated for chronic conditions do not take their medication as prescribed. They underestimate, for example, the risk of missed doses, have difficulty with integrating the treatment into their lives or simply forget to take the medicine. As a result, the patient does not experiences all the benefits of the treatment. Moreover, this leads to an increase in the medical costs as extra medical examinations are necessary, patients require additional or more expensive medication or they may need to be admitted to hospital.
The researchers compared the results of 31 studies with an average of 200 patients each, carried out in Europe and the United States. These studies looked at the effectiveness of specially-developed guidance programmes for HIV patients as well as the effectiveness of the regular guidance that patients receive as part of the usual medical care in HIV clinics. There are large differences in the quality of care offered by the different clinics. The introduction of the best programme in a clinic with low-quality guidance can double the success of treatment, while the effect of the same programme introduced in a clinic with high-quality care will be considerably smaller. As the best evaluated programme is also very labour-intensive, and therefore not feasible for many hospitals, the researchers recommend the large-scale introduction of patient guidance comparable with the best care already offered by a number of HIV clinics. Trained doctors and HIV nurses can deliver this care within the limited time available for a consultation. The expectation is that the introduction of this in Western HIV clinics will increase the effectiveness of the treatment of HIV by approximately 35%.
The costs of health care in the Netherlands amount to around 70 billion euros a year, and in the United States around 1.5 trillion dollars are spent on treating chronic conditions each year. An increase of “just” five or ten per cent in the effectiveness of the treatment of chronic conditions with medicines could thus reduce health care costs billions of euros per year. The current study also demonstrates the importance of behavioural science research in supporting modern medical treatments.
The research, as part of a PhD trajectory, was carried out by researchers from the Maastricht University (Work & Social Psychology department; Methodology & Statistics department), Communication Science department at Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, and the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK (School of Psychology).
Jac Niessen | alfa
One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology