|The purpose of this randomized controlled trial was to determine the effects of pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication on the compliance in medication and treatment outcomes of hypertensive outpatients. The subjects were hypertensive outpatients who received continuous medication from the hypertension clinic of Sikhoraphum Hospital, Surin province during May 2007 – January 2008. Only patients who were taking at least 3 kinds of medication per day or taking medication 2 times per day were qualified to be subjects. They were randomized based on the physician’s appointment list into either an experimental group (168 subjects) or control group (167 subjects). The control group received only routine pharmaceutical care; in contrast, the experimental group received both routine pharmaceutical care as well as the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication. Data of satisfaction of the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication and compliance in medication were collected via interviews. Data of blood pressure and other related health factors were collected from medical records. Subjects were followed up 3 times based on the physician’s appointment days. Only 166 patients of both groups remained until the study finished.
The results showed that after the third follow-up, the degrees of noncompliance in both groups significantly decreased (p<0.001), but there was no significant difference between the 2 groups. After multiple regression analysis with other variables in the model being under control, it was found that the experimental group had significantly lower diastolic blood pressure than the control group in the third follow-up (B = -1.967, p = 0.039). For other treatment outcomes – systolic blood pressure and proportion of patients who could control their blood pressure into the targeted range – there was no statistically significant difference. The patients’ satisfaction with the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication were as follows= - overall satisfaction (91.52%), satisfaction for allowing them to be able to take medication with no need of others’ assistance (92.73%), for allowing them to take medication as indicated by the doctor more precisely in terms of type (92.12%), dosage (92.12%), and time (90.30%). Only 81.82% of the patients were satisfied with the examples for the possibility to decrease the time for preparing medication. The majority of the patients (73.94%) agreed that the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication should be given to every hypertension patient.
The results of this study cannot validate that the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication are effective in improving patients’ medication compliance, even though the patients had high satisfaction with the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication. Only the diastolic blood pressure was decreased by the examples. Therefore, there should be further studies to determine the long term effects of the pre-packaged unit dose examples of medication.