Background: Adherence to preventive medication is often poor, and current interventions have had limited success.
Purpose: This study was conducted to pilot a randomised controlled trial aimed at increasing adherence to preventive medication in stroke survivors using a brief, personalised intervention.
Methods: Sixty-two stroke survivors were randomly allocated to either a two-session intervention aimed at increasing adherence via (a) introducing a plan linked to environmental cues (implementation intentions) to help establish a better medication-taking routine (habit) and (b) eliciting and modifying any mistaken patient beliefs regarding medication/stroke or a control group. Primary outcome was adherence to antihypertensive medication measured objectively over 3 months using an electronic pill bottle.
Results: Fifty-eight people used the pill bottle and were analysed as allocated; 54 completed treatment. The intervention resulted in 10 % more doses taken on schedule (intervention, 97 %; control, 87 %; 95 % CI for difference (0.2, 16.2); p = 0.048).
Conclusions: A simple, brief intervention increased medication adherence in stroke survivors, over and above any effect of increased patient contact or mere measurement.