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A patient diary as a tool to improve medicine compliance

16 December 2022

Compatibility (Compilance) is a well-recognised but still unsolved health problem. One of the methods currently used to measure adherence to treatment recommendations in a clinical drug trial is the patient diary. Patient adherence to standardised diary completion was assessed in 69 patients with year-round rhinitis who were randomly allocated to a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with a new corticosteroid. Over a 3-month period, patients were instructed to complete a diary twice daily for the following parameters: subject and physical symptoms of rhinitis, dosing time, concomitant medications, use of rescue medication and comments. The diaries were reviewed by the doctor during scheduled visits. Twenty patients (30%) completed their diaries for all items perfectly, while 62 patients (94%) completed more than 95% of all items. The concordance of diary completion in a well-controlled sample is high. Total diary completion was not affected by age, gender, race, concomitant medication use or treatment failure. Significant correlations were found between study duration and physician. This study suggests that completing a daily diary is positively correlated with patient adherence to medication. Doctors may consider using diaries to try to improve adherence. More detailed research is needed.