BACKGROUND: Many factors are associated with medication non-adherence in Parkinson's disease (PD), including complex treatment regimens, mood disorders and impaired cognition. However, interventions to improve adherence which acknowledge such factors are lacking. A phase II randomised controlled trial was conducted investigating whether Adherence Therapy (AT) improves medication adherence and quality of life (QoL) compared with routine care (RC) in PD.
METHODS: Eligible PD patients and their spouse/carers were randomised to intervention (RC plus AT) or control (RC alone). Primary outcomes were change in adherence (Morisky Medication Adherence Scale) and QoL (Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39) from baseline to week-12 follow up. Secondary outcomes were MDS-UPDRS (part I, II, IV), Beliefs about Medication Questionnaire (BMQ), EuroQol (EQ-5D) and the Caregiving Distress Scale. Blinded data were analysed using logistic and linear regression models based on the intention-to-treat principle.
RESULTS: Seventy-six patients and 46 spouse/carers completed the study (intervention: n = 38 patients, n = 24 spouse/carers). At week-12 AT significantly improved adherence compared with RC (OR 8.2; 95% CI: 2.8, 24.3). Numbers needed to treat (NNT) were 2.2 (CI: 1.6, 3.9). Compared with RC, AT significantly improved PDQ-39 (-9.0 CI: -12.2, -5.8), BMQ general harm (-1.0 CI: -1.9, -0.2) and MDS-UPDRS part II (-4.8 CI: -8.1, -1.4). No significant interaction was observed between the presence of a spouse/carer and the effect of AT.
CONCLUSION: Adherence Therapy improved self-reported adherence and QoL in a PD sample. The small NNT suggests AT may be cost-effective. A larger pragmatic trial to test the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of AT by multiple therapists is required.