who undergo point-of-care testing at a general practice are as, or more, likely
to comply with their medication regimes as patients who undergo testing at a
pathology laboratory, according to the results of a study published in the
Medical Journal of Australia.
Justin Beilby, Executive Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences at the University
of Adelaide, and his co-authors conducted a study involving patients with
established type 1 or 2 diabetes, established hyperlipidaemia, or requiring
anticoagulant therapy, who were enrolled in 53 urban, rural and remote general
practices in three States.
intervention group of 2585 patients had pathology tests for glycated
haemoglobin, urine albumin, albumin-creatinine ratio, blood lipids, or
international normalised ratio, performed using point-of-care (PoCT) devices at
their general practice.
group of 1796 patients had samples tested by their usual pathology
questionnaires indicated that adherence to medication regimes was higher in the
intervention group (39.3 per cent) than in the control group (37 per cent)," Prof Beilby said.
the difference in medication adherence between the two groups was not large,
even small improvements can be beneficial, given that low adherence to
medications compromises the effectiveness of treatment, at considerable cost to
patients and the health care system.
in the intervention group reported that their relationship with their GP had
strengthened, that having immediate test results was beneficial, and that they
were more motivated to look after themselves, which is evidenced by their
adherence to medication.
"Point-of-care-testing provides GPs with
virtually instantaneous test results for treatment decisions and also removes
an important barrier to adherence by offering patients the convenience of a