Date Presented 04/21/2023

This study seeks to qualitatively describe the patient experience of antihypertensive medication education. Themes reveal limited education from providers. OTs have a role in client-centered medication education as members of the health care team.

Primary Author and Speaker: Jaclyn K. Schwartz

Additional Authors and Speakers: Katherine Aylmer, Sami Tayeb, Abdulaziz Said, Cami Keahi

PURPOSE: Half of adults do not take their antihypertensive medications as prescribed resulting in higher risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and other cardiovascular events. Although there are a variety of interventions to address poor adherence to antihypertensive medications, medication education is a standard clinical approach to improve medication adherence. The purpose of this study is to describe patient experience in the prescription of new antihypertensive medications in order to understand the standard of care for medication education.

DESIGN: Adults (40 years +) with hypertension participated in this exploratory qualitative study.

METHOD: Through a semi-structured interview, participants (n=45) described their experience of their first prescription to antihypertensive medication(s) and how they were educated about the newly prescribed medication(s). Probes were used to discuss experiences with the prescriber and pharmacist. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Researchers used thematic analysis to identify patterns and derive themes.

RESULTS: Participants typically reported short education interactions with prescribers and pharmacists that involved verbal or written education.

DISCUSSION: The medication education verbalized by the participants generally failed to meet best practice guidelines. As experts in client-centered education and health self-management, occupational therapy practitioners can leverage their skills to augment current services by addressing medication education in occupational therapy interventions. Occupational therapy practitioners can also support members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team by providing in-services and facility- based guidelines to enhance current practice at the facility level. Occupational therapy practitioners’ unique expertise within their scope of practice can enable people with chronic health conditions to manage their health and enhance well-being.


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Fuller, R. H., Perel, P., Navarro-Ruan, T., Nieuwlaat, R., Haynes, R. B., & Huffman, M. D. (2018). Improving medication adherence in patients with cardiovascular disease: a systematic review. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 104(15), 1238–1243.

Schwartz, J. K. (2022). Guidelines for Medication Education for Occupational Therapists. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 10(1), 1-8.