Depression Linked to Reduced COPD Medications Adherence
Previous studies have documented reduced adherence of COPD medications in individuals with who have co-morbid depression, the authors write. This study strengthens the evidence by providing a longitudinal analysis of what happens to COPD medications adherence after a detection of depression.Adherence to COPD medications for falls after older adults receive a diagnosis of depression, according to a large study of Medicare beneficiaries”Clinicians who treat older adults with COPD beware of the development of depression, especially during the first six months following COPD diagnosis, and monitor patients’ adherence to prescribed COPD medications to ensure the best clinical outcomes,” the authors note.
To assess the relationship between a new episode of depression and COPD medications adherence, the authors analyzed data from a random sample of 5% of Medicare claims between 2006 and 2012. They included 31,033 beneficiaries with COPD who filled their COPD prescriptions at least twice in the 24 months after diagnosis in their analysis. Of those patients, 20% received a diagnosis of depression within 24 months after a COPD diagnosis. The researchers found patients with a history of respiratory cancer, tuberculosis, asbestosis, or sarcoidosis because they may use different medication regimens than other patients with COPD.
Average monthly adherence to COPD medications was low among all of the patients, peaking at 57% 1 month after the first prescription and dropping to 35% within 6 months. Only 20% of patients with depression and COPD fell into the highest adherence category during the 24-month follow-up period compared with 22% of patients with COPD who did not have depression.The presence of comorbid conditions other than asthma also reduced COPD medications adherence in this population, the authors note, with those patients with three or more conditions having the highest risk for poor adherence. This suggests patients may prioritize filling certain medications or may struggle to maintain complex regimens, the researchers write.