Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Effects of computer generated reminder charts on patients' compliance with drug regimens.

British Medical Journal 1993; 306 doi: (Published 01 May 1993) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1993;306:1158
  1. D K Raynor,
  2. T G Booth,
  3. A Blenkinsopp
  1. Department of Pharmacy, Seacroft, Hospital, Leeds.


    OBJECTIVE--To investigate whether a reminder chart improved patients' compliance with their drug regimen after discharge from hospital. DESIGN--Patients were randomly allocated to one of four groups. Two groups received the reminder chart: one also received routine counselling from a nurse and the other received structured counselling from a pharmacist, which included an explanation of the reminder chart. The other two groups received only counseling, either from a nurse or from a pharmacist. Patients were visited about 10 days later: they were questioned about their drug regimen, and their compliance was measured by tablet counting. SETTING--The pharmacy in a district general hospital and patients' homes. PATIENTS--197 patients being discharged from hospital who were regularly taking two or more drugs. INTERVENTION--An individualised reminder chart, which listed each person's medicines and when they were to be taken and was automatically generated by a medicine labelling computer. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Patient's compliance with and knowledge of their drug regimen. MAIN RESULTS--Of the patients who received the reminder chart, 83% (95% confidence interval 74% to 90%) correctly described their dose regimen compared with 47% (37% to 58%) of those without the chart (p < 0.001). The mean compliance score was 86% (81% to 91%) in both groups not given the reminder chart; 91% (87% to 94%) in the group given the chart without an explanation; and 95% (93% to 98%) in the group given the chart and an explanation. A mean compliance score of > 85% was achieved by 63% (53% to 73%) of patients without a reminder chart and by 86% (78% to 93%) of those receiving the chart (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS--An automatically generated reminder chart is a practical and cost effective aid to compliance.