Sunday, October 23, 2011
Grand Ballroom AB (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Poster Board # 53
(DEC) Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making

Delesha M. Carpenter, PhD, MSPH, Emily A. Elstad, MPH, Susan J. Blalock, PhD, MPH and Robert F. DeVellis, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Purpose: When chronic disease patients are prescribed a medication, they often supplement the information given to them by their physician by consulting additional sources. When patients seek information from more than one source, the opportunity to encounter conflicting information, defined as contradictory information from two or more sources about a particular medication topic, arises. Our purpose is to determine whether arthritis patients are exposed to conflicting medication information, document which sources provide patients with conflicting information, and explore whether conflicting information is associated with patient medication adherence.

Method: All data were collected as part of the Information Networks for Osteoarthritis Resources and Medications (INFORM) Study, which assessed the information-seeking behaviors of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients (n=328). Using an online survey, patients indicated how often they had received conflicting information about 12 medication topics; summary scores ranged from 1 (‘never received’) to 4 (‘often received’). Patients also indicated sources of conflicting information and completed demographic and clinical questions as well as a visual analog scale for medication adherence that ranged from 0-100, with lower scores indicating worse adherence. SPSS was used to calculate Pearson correlations to explore the relationship between conflicting medication information and demographic/clinical variables. Each demographic/clinical variable that significantly correlated (p<.10) with conflicting information was entered into a regression model to predict medication adherence.

Result: A majority of patients (80.1%) received conflicting medication information and were most likely to receive conflicting information about side effects and proper dosage. Two doctors (27.4%), media sources (21.6%), and the Internet (20.7%) were the most common sources of conflicting information. Younger patients, non-white patients, patients who perceived that their medication regimen was more complex, patients who reported that their arthritis was more severe, and patients who sought more information received greater amounts of conflicting information.  The regression model revealed that more information source use (B=.22 p<.01), lower perceived medication regimen complexity (B=-.17, p<.05), and less conflicting information (B=-.13, p<.05) were associated with better medication adherence.

Conclusion: Conflicting medication information is problematic for arthritis patients because it is associated with worse medication adherence.  The relationship between use of information sources, conflicting information, and medication adherence deserves greater attention. Interventions designed to help patients reconcile conflicting information from multiple sources may be warranted.