Pilot Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence Among Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Using Pharmacy Refill Data.



Despite high rates of medication nonadherence among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), effective interventions to improve adherence in SLE are limited. We aimed to assess the feasibility of a pilot intervention and explore its effect on adherence.


The intervention used pharmacy refill data to monitor nonadherence and prompt discussions surrounding SLE medications during clinic encounters. Over 12 weeks, the intervention was delivered through routine clinic visits by providers to patients with SLE who take SLE-specific medications. We measured acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility using provider surveys. We also measured acceptability by patient surveys and feasibility by medical record documentation. We explored change in adherence by comparing percent of patients with medication possession ratio (MPR) ≥80% 3 months before and after the intervention visit using the McNemar's test.


Six rheumatologists participated; 130 patients were included in the analysis (median age 43, 95% female, and 59% racial and ethnic minorities). Implementation of the intervention was documented in 89% of clinic notes. Provider surveys showed high scores for feasibility (4.7/5), acceptability (4.4/5), and appropriateness (4.6/5). Among patient surveys, the most common reactions to the intervention visit were feeling determined (32%), empowered (32%), and proud (19%). Proportion of patients with MPR ≥80% increased from 48% to 58% (P = 0.03) after the intervention visit.


Our intervention showed feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness and led to a statistically significant improvement in adherence. Future work should refine the intervention, assess its efficacy in a controlled setting, and adapt its use among other clinic settings.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Sun, Kai, Amanda M Eudy, Jennifer L Rogers, Lisa G Criscione-Schreiber, Rebecca E Sadun, Jayanth Doss, Mithu Maheswaranathan, Ann Cameron Barr, et al. (2023). Pilot Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence Among Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Using Pharmacy Refill Data. Arthritis care & research, 75(3). pp. 550–558. 10.1002/acr.24806 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/29368.

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Kai Sun

Assistant Professor of Medicine

My clinical interests are in general rheumatology, lupus, and musculoskeletal ultrasound. My research interest is in healthcare disparities and medication adherence in rheumatology.


Jennifer Lee Rogers

Associate Professor of Medicine

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