Health Discoveries in General Health News

Study finds some stroke patients not taking medications

September 17, 2010
The online edition of the Archives of Neurology recently reported that as many as 25 percent of stroke patients stopped taking some of their medications within three months after having a stroke.

In addition, those patients with more severe disability and those without insurance are at risk of not continuing medications, based on data on 2,598 patients treated for stroke or a transient ischemic attack at 106 U.S. hospitals.

"Most importantly, these results show that some patients require more teaching regarding their medications, including why a medication is prescribed and how to refill it," said Dr. Cheryl D. Bushnell, associate director of the Women's Health Center of Excellence at Wake Forest University Health Sciences. "Hopefully, we as providers can improve patients' medication compliance through better communication and by being aware of the factors associated with medication discontinuation."

The study noted that patients who were more likely to continue taking medications were those who had adequate health insurance, had other serious health problems or had fewer medications and understood why they were taking them.

The North Shore-LIJ Health System has created an Institute for Clinical Excellence that focuses on improved care coordination and patient safety by engaging both patients and their caregivers in an individual's care plan.
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