Persistence as a Robust Indicator of Medication Adherence-Related Quality and Performance.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2021, 18, (9), pp. 1-9
Issue Date:
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Medication adherence is a priority for health systems worldwide and is widely recognised as a key component of quality of care for disease management. Adherence-related indicators were rarely explicitly included in national health policy agendas. One barrier is the lack of standardised adherence terminology and of routine measures of adherence in clinical practice. This paper discusses the possibility of developing adherence-related performance indicators highlighting the value of measuring persistence as a robust indicator of quality of care. To standardise adherence and persistence-related terminology allowing for benchmarking of adherence strategies, the European Ascertaining Barriers for Compliance (ABC) project proposed a Taxonomy of Adherence in 2012 consisting of three components: initiation, implementation, discontinuation. Persistence, which immediately precedes discontinuation, is a key element of taxonomy, which could capture adherence chronology allowing the examination of patterns of medication-taking behaviour. Advances in eHealth and Information Communication Technology (ICT) could play a major role in providing necessary structures to develop persistence indicators. We propose measuring persistence as an informative and pragmatic measure of medication-taking behaviour. Our view is to develop quality and performance indicators of persistence, which requires investing in ICT solutions enabling healthcare providers to review complete information on patients' medication-taking patterns, as well as clinical and health outcomes.
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