Unique study on medicine-taking behaviours

Drug capsules and tablets
13 May 2011

Top Aston experts embark on unique study on patients’ medicine-taking behaviours

Researchers from Aston University are encouraging people to tell them about their attitudes towards taking prescribed medication, as part of a pioneering new study.

The Aston Medication Adherence Study, believed to be the first of its kind in the country to examine such a diverse group of patients, aims to raise awareness of the importance of taking prescribed medication and the potential consequences of not doing so, both to the patient and to the National Health Service.

Dr Chris Langley
Dr Chris Langley
A research team led by Dr Chris Langley a pharmacist from the School of Life & Health Sciences is working in collaboration with the NHS Heart of Birmingham teaching Primary Care Trust (HoBtPCT) to understand medicine-taking behaviour, specifically within the most deprived areas of Birmingham.

Dr Langley said: “Many patients are reluctant to take prescribed medication for a range of reasons. Through this study we are keen to identify these reasons with the hope of raising awareness of the unfavourable implications these can have, both on the patient and on the healthcare system.”

The first phase of this research, which is due to begin next month, will involve the formation of focus groups which in turn will encourage members from diverse communities within the HoBtPCT geographical patch to take part in a short survey.

Once sufficient data has been collected, and analysed, the findings will enable the four-strong research team to develop a new, improved model that GPs could use to more easily identify patients who might be prone to not taking medication as prescribed, also known as non-adherence.

The research team are focussing specifically on adult patients, those who fall in any of these four treatment groups:
  • Dyslipidaemia
    Abnormal levels of cholesterol or fat in the blood

  • Type 2 diabetes
    When not enough insulin is produced by the body for it to function properly, or when the body’s cells do not react to insulin

  • Hypothyroidism
    An underactive thyroid gland which is found in the neck. This gland produces hormones that are released into the bloodstream to control the body’s growth and metabolism

  • Prevention of thrombosis
    When a patient develops blood clots in a blood vessel. This patient group will include patients that may have had a clot in the past or are at increased risk of clots and have been prescribed blood thinning agents such as warfarin.
If you would like  to be part of this study, or would like to find out more, please contact Alpa Patel, Project Administrator, on 0121 204 4963, email a.patel10@aston.ac.uk or tweet us.

For all media enquiries, please contact Dhiren Katwa, press officer at Aston University, on 0121 204 4954 or email d.katwa1@aston.ac.uk