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University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Receives NIH Grant to Study Diabetic Medication Adherence

PITTSBURGH, May 20, 2003 A team of University of Pittsburgh researchers recently created a non-profit study to learn more about managing multiple medications for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Approximately 50 percent of patients taking medications have trouble adhering to their regimen. Those at particular risk are people contending with more than one illness. This study focuses on researching the difference telephone intervention makes to provide significant increases in the regularity of medication use among half of the 396 study participants. The study will not change any of the participants medications. Instead, the examiners will make bi-weekly telephone calls to provide counseling for participants with poor stability taking medications.

During the first stage of the study, participants are asked to complete a series of questionnaires. Also, for a 30-day period, participants will be asked to keep three of their regular medications in special pill bottles that contain a counter. Then participants will be classified into either good adherers or poor adherers.

For the second phase, the researchers ask participants to continue keeping medications in the special pill bottles over the course of one year. Also, participants are asked to attend three office visits for blood tests and memory tests and fill out two more sets of questionnaires. Participants will be reimbursed for travel to and from the hospital and parking. The 198 poor adherers will then receive bi-weekly phone calls from a nurse to discuss their treatment plans.

The goal of this survey is to learn more about the influences on how people with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol carry out their treatment programs and to learn how to better help people manage a complex treatment program.

The team includes principal investigator Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing; Judith A. Erlen, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN; Pamela Peele, Ph.D.; Eric Rodriguez, M.D.; Joan Rogers, Ph.D., OTR/L; Christopher Ryan, Ph.D.; Elizabeth Schlenk, Ph.D., R.N.; Susan Serieka, Ph.D.; Carol Stilley, Ph.D., R.N.; Lisa Tamres, M.S. and project director; and project nurse Maura McCall, R.N.

Founded in 1939, the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing offers a comprehensive educational program conferring undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees. The schools programs are designed to meet the diverse needs of students interested in professional nursing education, ranging from newly graduated high school students beginning a career in nursing to experienced nurses seeking a doctoral degree for careers as nurse scientists, teachers and informatics professionals.

For more information about Pitts School of Nursing, please access http://www.nursing.pitt.edu.

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