Chronic diseases cause an immense burden on the patient, with the requirement of taking pills daily. Taking medications on time is central to the success of therapy, and family or social support can play a vital role in decreasing the stress related to treatment thus improving compliance and outcomes.
It is by no way a new problem; physicians had known the issue of compliance, that is a failure to stick to the treatment, providing wrong information to physicians and consequently having poor health outcomes for at least 2000 years.
“Keep a watch…on the faults of the patients, which often make them lie about the taking of things prescribed. For though not taking disagreeable drinks, purgative or other, they sometimes die.”-Hippocrates, Decorum
Impact of medication non-adherence
Failure to take medications in timely fashion costs lots to the healthcare. As per the 2013 report of National Community Pharmacists Association, it costs $290 billion to the US health care system. It is estimated that in theUS at least 20-50% of the patients fail to take medications on time, or they forget entirely. Missed doses of medical drugs result in around 125,000 deaths each year. Things are even worse for chronic ailments like hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, epilepsy, psychiatric illnesses, asthma and other chronic respiratory problem. In case of respiratory disease, it is thought that almost two-thirds or around 70% of patient fail to take medications as required.
Missed doses or failure to take medication on time has not much to do with intention. Most people fail to take medicines as they just forget about it and family or social circle can play a significant role in reminding.
When a person misses a dose in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, it often results in hospitalization. In depression, which is common among elderly and those living with chronic conditions, sticking to the daily dose of medications is even more challenging. In diseases like diabetes, missed doses result in poorly controlled diabetes and complications.
The reason behind medication non-adherence
There are tens if not hundreds of reasons for missed doses. Low literacy, poor social and family support, inadequate access to pharmacy, the complexity of drug regimen, treatment requires help from others, unpleasant medications, hearing or visual impairment, lack of knowledge about the disease, lack of motivation, fear of dependence, depression, mental retardation, psychological stress, substance abuse. Family and social circle can help to overcome most of these problems and thus helping the person to stay motivated and stick to the therapy.
The problem of the missed dose is enormous. Physicians write almost 3.2 billion prescriptions each year. Thus nearly half of Americans report taking the prescription drug during last 30 days (not counting over-the-counter medicines and health supplements).
So, how do we remember to take medication?
Social support and family can play a central role, however, in today’s world, we lack time to give personal attention due to work, living apart, and so on. On the other hand, we are all well connected to devices, social apps. But many of the social apps are merely for interaction; they are not suited for motivating the close circle, they are not fabricated by keeping wellbeing in mind.
It is where CircleCare app comes to rescue, perhaps the best social app that helps to keep loved and dear ones motivated to stay healthy. An app that can help reminding, encouraging, taking out the stress from the treatment process. Staying healthy becomes easier, by sharing your health concerns, achievements, problems with your close circle – your CircleCare.