Computation of adherence to medication and visualization of medication histories in R with AdhereR: Towards transparent and reproducible use of electronic healthcare data

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Authors Alexandra Lelia Dima, Dan Dediu
Journal/Conference Name PloS one
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Adherence to medications is an important indicator of the quality of medication management and impacts on health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery. Electronic healthcare data (EHD) are increasingly used to estimate adherence in research and clinical practice, yet standardization and transparency of data processing are still a concern. Comprehensive and flexible open-source algorithms can facilitate the development of high-quality, consistent, and reproducible evidence in this field. Some EHD-based clinical decision support systems (CDSS) include visualization of medication histories, but this is rarely integrated in adherence analyses and not easily accessible for data exploration or implementation in new clinical settings. We introduce AdhereR, a package for the widely used open-source statistical environment R, designed to support researchers in computing EHD-based adherence estimates and in visualizing individual medication histories and adherence patterns. AdhereR implements a set of functions that are consistent with current adherence guidelines, definitions and operationalizations. We illustrate the use of AdhereR with an example dataset of 2-year records of 100 patients and describe the various analysis choices possible and how they can be adapted to different health conditions and types of medications. The package is freely available for use and its implementation facilitates the integration of medication history visualizations in open-source CDSS platforms.
Date of publication 2017
Code Programming Language R
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