Objective: To describe the systematic development and content of a short intervention to improve medication adherence to disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in non-adherent patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods: The intervention mapping (IM) framework was used to develop the intervention. The following IM steps were conducted: (1) a needs assessment; (2) formulation of specific intervention objectives; (3) inventory of methods and techniques needed to design the intervention and (4) production and piloting of the intervention.
Results: The intervention (consisting of two group sessions led by a pharmacist, a homework assignment, and a follow-up call) aims to improve the balance between necessity and concern beliefs about medication, and to resolve practical barriers in medication taking. The central communication method used is motivational interviewing.
Conclusion: By applying the IM framework, we were able to create a feasible, time-efficient and promising intervention to improve medication adherence in non-adherent RA patients. Intervention effects are currently being assessed in a randomized controlled trial.
Practice implications: This paper could serve as a guideline for other health care professionals when developing similar interventions. If the RCT demonstrates sufficient effectiveness of this intervention in reducing medication non-adherence in RA patients, the intervention could be embedded in clinical practice.
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