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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Improving the physician-patient cardiovascular risk dialogue to improve statin adherence

Linda Casebeer1*, Craig Huber2, Nancy Bennett3, Rachael Shillman1, Maziar Abdolrasulnia1, Gregory D Salinas1 and Sijian Zhang4

Author Affiliations

1 Outcomes, Inc., 107 Frankfurt Circle, Birmingham, AL, USA

2 AstraZeneca, 1800 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE, USA

3 Consultant, Outcomes, Inc., 107 Frankfurt Circle, Birmingham, AL, USA

4 University of Alabama, Birmingham, 514 E Ryals Public Health Bldg, Birmingham, AL, USA

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BMC Family Practice 2009, 10:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-10-48

Published: 30 June 2009



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a patient education program developed to facilitate statin adherence.


A controlled trial was designed to test the effectiveness of a multifaceted patient education program to facilitate statin adherence. The program included a brief, in-office physician counseling kit followed by patient mailings. The primary end point was adherence to filling statin prescriptions during a 120-day period. Patients new to statins enrolled and completed a survey. Data from a national pharmacy claims database were used to track adherence.


Patients new to statin therapy exposed to a patient counseling and education program achieved a 12.4 higher average number of statin prescription fill days and were 10% more likely to fill prescriptions for at least 120 days (p = .01).


Brief in-office counseling on cardiovascular risk followed by patient education mailings can be effective in increasing adherence. Physicians found a one-minute counseling tool and pocket guidelines useful in counseling patients.