Depression’s Impact on Patients with Chronic Disease

zhu liang_unsplash
Image Source: Zhu Liang/Unsplash

According to a RAND corporation study, people who are depressed are less likely to adhere to medications for their chronic health problems than people who are not depressed. Researchers found that patients with depression had 76% greater odds of being non-adherent with their medications compared to those without depression.1 This is a concern since not only do people with chronic illnesses routinely face higher death rates when they have poor medication adherence, the rate of depression itself has been increasing significantly over the years. In the U.S., depression increased from 6.6 percent to 7.3 percent from 2005 to 2015.2

What can Doctors and Providers do?

Dr. Walid F. Gellad, the study’s senior author and a natural scientist a RAND, recommended that “doctors and other providers should periodically ask patients with depression about medication adherence. Also, when treating a patient who is not taking their medication correctly, they should consider the possibility that depression is contributing to the problem.”

How can you help a Friend or Family Member with Depression?

It’s important to learn the symptoms of depression and that they can vary from person to person. You can find a list of symptoms and support recommendations provided by the mayo clinic here. Once you recognize it, the next steps are to:

  • Talk to the person
  • Explain that depression is a medical condition
  • Suggest seeking help from a professional
  • Offer to help prepare a list of questions to discuss in an initial appointment
  • Express your willingness to help

If you or someone you know is struggling, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for help.

 

Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Sources:

  1. The Rand Corporation. (2011, May 10). Depression Associated with Lower Medication Adherence Among Patients with Chronic Disease [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/05/10.html
  2. Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Depression is on the rise in the US, especially among young teens.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171030134631.htm>.

National Nutrition Month: Are You Ready to Eat Right?

Healthy breakfast food
Image Source: Unsplash/Jannis Brandt

What is National Nutrition Month?

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

What Can I Do to Get Involved?

There are a lot of different ways you can get involved with National Nutrition Month. You can either participate alone or with a group, here are a few ideas on how you can get started:

  • Commit to trying a new fruit or vegetable each week during National Nutrition Month.
  • Start a vegetable garden by planting seeds indoors or outside.
  • Take a trip to a farmers market or local farm.
  • Organize a healthy potluck, making sure each of the food groups is represented.

View more ideas HERE.

Chronic Conditions and Nutrition

If you have a chronic condition, a carefully planned diet can make a difference. With certain diseases, what you eat may reduce symptoms. In other cases, diet can improve health. Although your diet might differ depending on your condition and lifestyle, there are three keys to a healthy eating plan that will work for diabetes, heart health, cancer prevention and weight management:

  • Eat meals and snacks regularly (at planned times).
  • Eat about the same amount of food at each meal or snack.
  • Choose healthful foods to support a healthy weight and heart.

 

Have any questions? Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742.

Celebrate October with Tria Health!

October is an important month in healthcare! October is American Pharmacists Month AND October 21st is National Check Your Meds Day!

What is National Check Your Meds Day?

Consumer Reports found that 53% of patients get their drugs from more than one healthcare provider. Perhaps more worryingly, only 50% of patents have ever asked their doctor to review their list of medications and 35% had never had ANY healthcare professional examine their lists.” For this reason, Consumer Reports is sponsoring National Check Your Meds Day.

Lisa Gill, Deputy Director for Consumer Reports, says “Pharmacists are a terrific resource” for helping to identify problem medications. She also said, “My hope is that people take their meds to a pharmacist they trust.”

Tria Health’s specially trained pharmacists provide necessary education and coordination of care to improve condition management. Pharmacists are the best healthcare providers to identify potential drug interactions, medication side effects, and dosing issues. Tria Health’s pharmacists can communicate this knowledge to patients, physicians, and other healthcare providers.

Tria Health offers this service regularly, as part of our Pharmacy Advocate and Specialty GuardRx programs.

Comprehensive Medication Review (a/k/a Brown Bag Review)

A brown bag review is your opportunity to speak with a clinical pharmacist to review all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements.

During this review, pharmacists will help you better understand your medications, and ensure that you are taking the right combination of medications for your individual health needs.

Ready for your Employees to Schedule a Brown Bag Review?

Skip the lines at your pharmacy and call Tria Health today at 913-322-8456!

Study shows medication adherence improves through health coaching

Working one-on-one with a medical professional may improve the rate at which chronic condition patients take their medications correctly, according to a study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. After participating in health coaching for a year, medication rates among patients with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol had increased.

The study looked at patients between the ages of 18 and 75 who had uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The patients were split into two groups, the first receiving health coaching for 12 months and the second continuing with their normal care. At the end of the year, adherence reported by the health coaching group had improved significantly while adherence reported by the usual care group did not improve, and in some cases, worsened by the end of the study.

Patients who participated in the health coaching reporting reported a 23 percent increase in the number of patients who reported taking their medications exactly as prescribed for at least five of the last seven days. The group that had continued with their usual care reported a 5 percent decrease.

Increased patient knowledge, patient counseling and active patient participation are already known to improve medication adherence. Health coaches may have more time to spend with patients, and this may have impacted the participants’ engagement with their treatment and influenced their medication adherence. The health coaches also worked with patients on healthy lifestyle changes, which also may have impacted change.

The study cites statistics about the high cost to the U.S. healthcare system caused by medication nonadherence. About half of medications prescribed for chronic conditions aren’t used correctly, which contributes to more than $200 billion in avoidable costs to the health care system each year.

For more information about how Tria Health works to improve medication adherence among our patients, visit our website.

5 Reasons MTM Matters

Tria Health’s medication therapy management (MTM) services save you (and your company) money on health care expenses. Here are a few reasons why MTM matters.

1. Most common chronic conditions are managed through medication.

About 80 percent of chronic conditions require the use of medication. Medication helps to control everything from high blood pressure to depression and heart disease to diabetes, but the sheer number of medications prescribed to these patients makes managing their conditions difficult. As more and more people are diagnosed with these conditions, managing the medications used to treat them becomes even more important.

2. People don’t always take medications the way they should be taken.

In fact, almost half of people taking medications don’t take them as prescribed. That can be for a lot of different reasons, including everything from unpleasant side effects to high costs to simply forgetting to take a medication. Tria Pharmacists educate patients so they understand why and how they should be taking their medications.

3. Lack of communication between patients and prescribers can result in poorly coordinated care.

Patients with multiple conditions often have multiple physicians, all of whom prescribe medications, but often without consulting each other. Tria Health fills this gap in care. Whenever our pharmacists make recommendations to patients, they also communicate that information to physicians.

4. Pharmacists know medication best.

Our pharmacists are clinically trained and board certified with specialties such as ambulatory care, pharmacotherapy psychiatry and infectious diseases. They take the time to analyze each patient’s conditions, medication and lifestyle, and give them personalized advice.

5. MTM delivers results.

Tria Health uses real-time pharmacy data to correct medication-related problems and identify cost saving opportunities for immediate returns.