The purpose of this study was to identify medication adherence for patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) referred to an interdisciplinary HCV education and monitoring service, evaluate changes in quality of life (QOL) and medication adherence during the first 3 months of HCV therapy, and determine relationships between adherence and QOL.
Patients completed an initial survey before initiating the therapy evaluating medication adherence and QOL. They then received a structured training on HCV medications and monthly monitoring phone call from a pharmacist throughout the therapy. After 3 months of treatment, a follow-up survey was conducted to evaluate adherence, satisfaction, and QOL. Medication adherence was also assessed via patient self-report during follow-up phone calls.
Patients expressed satisfaction with the care provided by the pharmacist and nurse practitioner individually and working collaboratively during their HCV therapy. Patients reported taking 99.8% of total interferon and ribavirin doses during the first 3 months of the therapy. Patients who indicated that they sometimes stopped taking medication when they felt worse had higher median aggregate physical functioning scores (p = .04) and those with no comorbidities found dosage times more inconvenient than those with at least one comorbidity (p = .046). Patients in a pharmacist-run HCV education service have high self-reported adherence rates and are satisfied with the interdisciplinary model of care. Quality of life may be associated with adherence; higher functioning, healthier patients may be more likely to stop taking HCV medications owing to side effects or inconvenience.