The Particulars: Previous analyses suggest that there is a high prevalence of medication non-adherence among patients with heart failure (HF), and that this phenomenon is associated with poor outcomes. Few studies have sought to understand the causes for medication non-adherence among HF patients.

Data Breakdown: Researchers developed and tested a novel medication management assessment tool in which patients with HF were provided five pill bottles that represented common HF medications. The authors found that 91% of patients were confident in managing their medications, but only 11% completed the model without errors. Of the patients involved in the study, 93% were able to read pill bottle labels, 89% were able to open pill bottles, and 72% were able to locate the correct slot in a pillbox. Just 18% could correctly allocate mock medications into a pillbox.

Take Home Pearls: Among patients hospitalized with HF, there appears to be a discrepancy between self-perceived ability to manage medications and actual ability. This inability to manage medications may be a key component of poor medication adherence in patients with HF.