An intervention to increase physicians' use of adherence-enhancing strategies in managing hypercholesterolemic patients

Academic Article


  • Purpose. Patients' lack of adherence to medical regimens frustrates many practicing physicians. This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of a combined continuing medical education intervention in increasing physicians' adherence-enhancing skills and improving hypercholesterolemic patients' health. Method. A prospective, randomized, controlled trial was designed using a nested cohort of 28 community physicians throughout Alabama and 222 of their hypercholesterolemic outpatients. The intervention, carried out in 1998, consisted of three interactive case audio-conferences plus chart reminders. Physicians' learning was measured by unannounced standardized patients, and patients' health by serum cholesterol levels, weight, knowledge of hypercholesterolemia, self- reported dietary habits, and health status. Results. No significant difference was found in the numbers of physician adherence-enhancing strategies, although the number did increase within the treatment group. There were significant differences in the intervention group's patients' knowledge of cholesterol management (p = .008) and significant reductions in their self-reported consumption of dietary fats (p = .002). A significant difference was found in the serum cholesterol level of men in the intervention group nine months after the intervention (p = .02). Conclusion. Combining a series of interactive case audio-conferences with chart reminders shows promise in increasing physicians' adherence-enhancing strategies. In chronic disease management, the problem of enhancing adherence remains complex.
  • Published In

  • Academic Medicine  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Casebeer LL; Klapow JC; Centor RM; Stafford MA; Renkl LA; Mallinger AP; Kristofco RE
  • Start Page

  • 1334
  • End Page

  • 1339
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 12