Background: The efficacy of topical medications is limited by non-adherence. Interventions to improve adherence to topical treatments are not well characterized.
Objective: To assess the impact of office visits on patients' adherence to topical treatment.
Methods: Twenty-nine subjects enrolled in a clinical trial for psoriasis and were followed for up to 8 weeks. Subjects were told to apply 6% salicylic acid gel twice daily. Electronic monitors were used to assess adherence. Results were compared to adherence in clinical trials of hand dermatitis and atopic dermatitis.
Results: Adherence rates were significantly higher around the time of office visits (P < .05).
Limitations: This is a small study in a limited patient population. The study was observational and not a randomized trial of the effect of increased office visits.
Conclusion: Frequent follow-up visits in clinical trials increase patients' adherence to medications. The use of a follow-up visit shortly after initiating treatment may be an effective way to boost patients' use of their medication and achieve better treatment outcomes.