Up-to-date guidance towards improving medication adherence in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Meredith A. Case, Michelle N. Eakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Despite efficacious treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), medication adherence remains quite poor, with most estimates based on electronic monitoring devices ranging from 20–30%. This degree of nonadherence represents a significant missed opportunity to realize the benefits of treatment of this disease. Areas covered: In this article, we review research on the prevalence of nonadherence among patients with COPD, the association of nonadherence with health outcomes, barriers to adherence in this patient population, and potential interventions. Expert Opinion: Integrating research into practice involves assessing patients’ adherence, identifying modifiable barriers to adherence, open discussion of these barriers with patients, and tailored interventions to address them. These interventions may include treatment of previously unrecognized comorbid disease, providing educational or behavioral interventions, optimizing prescribing strategies, use of adherence aids, or addressing cost and other access barriers. Electronic inhaler monitors are promising interventions for both monitoring and improving adherence. However, remaining concerns about integration into patient care, data management, cost, acceptability, and ethical and privacy issues must be overcome prior to their implementation in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-546
Number of pages8
JournalExpert review of respiratory medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023


  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • digital health
  • electronic monitors
  • medication adherence
  • medication compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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