Improving Medication Adherence in Coronary Heart Disease.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


Purpose of review

The purpose of this review was to synthesize research findings from recently published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) targeting any phase of medication adherence, from initiation to discontinuation, among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD).

Recent findings

We identified successful strategies and promising practices for improving medication adherence among patients diagnosed with CHD. Consistent intervention strategies included the following: (1) facilitating patient-provider communication, (2) using mHealth technologies with emphasis on two-way communication, (3) providing patient education in tandem with lifestyle and behavioral counseling, and (4) providing psychosocial support. Regarding medication adherence phases, all studies examined implementation (i.e., taking medications as prescribed over time) and one also addressed treatment initiation (i.e., beginning a new medication). None identified addressed discontinuation. Studies varied by use of objective, self-report, and a combination of outcome measures with a greater number reporting only subjective measures of adherence. Key findings remained mixed in supporting specific intervention designs or delivery formats. This review addresses available data of promising practices for improving CHD medication adherence. Future studies are needed to examine intervention effectiveness, scalability, and durability of observed outcome effects.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Zullig, Leah L, Katherine Ramos and Hayden B Bosworth (2017). Improving Medication Adherence in Coronary Heart Disease. Current cardiology reports, 19(11). p. 113. 10.1007/s11886-017-0918-y Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Leah L Zullig

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Leah L. Zullig, PhD, MPH is a health services researcher and an implementation scientist. She is a Professor in the Duke Department of Population Health Sciences and an investigator with the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT) at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Dr. Zullig’s overarching research interests address three domains: improving cancer care delivery and quality; promoting cancer survivorship and chronic disease management; and improving medication adherence. Throughout these three area of foci Dr. Zullig uses an implementation science lens with the goal of providing equitable care for all by implementing evidence-based practices in a variety of health care environments. She has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications. 

Dr. Zullig completed her BS in Health Promotion, her MPH in Public Health Administration, and her PhD in Health Policy.

Areas of expertise: Implementation Science, Health Measurement, Health Policy, Health Behavior, Telehealth, and Health Services Research


Katherine Ramos

Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.