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Health Outcomes Projects Take Gold, Bronze Medals

PhD Students Honored for AMCP Nexus Meeting Projects on Relationship Between Motivational Interviewing, Medication Adherence 

October 21 — Two UH College of Pharmacy Ph.D. students have been recognized with Gold and Bronze medals at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy 2020 Nexus Virtual meeting Oct. 20-23 for their projects delving into the relationship between motivational interviewing interventions and medication adherence to antihypertensive medications as well as the association between past and future medication adherence.

Ph.D. students Anjana Mohan, MPharm., and Zahra Majd, Pharm.D., earned Gold and Bronze medals, respectively, for their projects, "Impact of Motivational Interviewing Intervention in Texas Medicare Advantage Patients with Hypertension," and "Predicting Future Adherence to Statins Using Previous Adherence to Antihypertensive Drugs."

anjana mohan

Mohan’s project examined whether motivational interviewing (MI) interventions targeted for statin adherence also improved adherence to other concomitantly used antihypertensive medications that were also utilized by the patients at the time of the intervention. The MI interventions were conducted by UHCOP Pharm.D. via telephone. The study found that intervention targeting statins among patients enrolled in the Medicare Advantage Plan did not significantly improve the adherence to antihypertensive medications six months post-intervention. The study authors concluded that patients may benefit from interventions tailored to specific medications.

Coauthors of the project were UHCOP alumna Aisha Vadhariya, Ph.D., assistant professor at Duquesne University School of Pharmacy; fellow Ph.D. student Zahra Majd; alumni Tara W. Esse, Pharm.D., BCACP, clinical program manager at CareAllies, and Omar Serna, Pharm.D., BCACP, clinical operations director at CareAllies; and Mohan's advisor, Susan Abughosh, Ph.D., associate professor. 

zahra majd photo

In Majd's project, the project team examined whether patients' previous adherence to the common antihypertensive medications — angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) — could predict adherence to their newly prescribed statin medication.

The study found that only about 40% of patients were adherent to their statin medications during the first year of treatment initiation, which the study authors indicated was similar to other studies on statin adherence. Results from this study showed that previous adherence to ACEI/ARBs was a significant predictor for future adherence to statins, and using previous adherence to chronic medications helps identify patients likely to be non-adherent at the time of treatment initiation and intervene earlier.

The student authors concluded that additional patient education may be warranted upon initiation of statin therapy to overcome barriers such as patient fears over rare side effects with the medication and the asymptomatic nature of the underlying health condition of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — aka "bad" cholesterol — it's used to treat. 

Coauthors on Majd's project were Mohan, UHCOP alumni Rutugandha Paranjpe, Ph.D., and Vadhariya, and advisor Abughosh.

Both abstracts were published in an October 2020 supplement of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy