We are excited to share with you highlights from this first Global Congress on medication adherence and behavioral science, which took place on October 20th and 21st. Abbott is addressing the widespread issue of non-adherence with a:care, a non-commercial connected health ecosystem that leverages behavioral science with digital tools to help transform the relationship between the physician and the patient. a:care is currently endorsed by international and national medical societies and supported by leading voices in the medical community. 

As part of this effort to tackle non-adherence, Abbott organized this Congress, which raised interested to more than 25,000 healthcare professionals from around the world. The Congress was chaired by Prof. John Weinman of King’s College, London, who is commonly recognized as a founder of modern health psychology, and welcomed renowned experts in behavioral science and communication, as well as world-class professors of medicine across therapeutic areas, to share their perspectives, experiences and patient insights about adherence and behavioral science.

Below are summaries of the conference presentations. We hope you will take the opportunity to watch the full presentations by pressing the replay buttons below.

DAY 1: October 20th, 2021

Why a:care ?
Olivier Gryson
The Global Challenge of medication adherence
Improving medication non-adherence remains a global unmet need. This session takes a close look at the burden of non-adherence
and the subsequent social and economic implications. The multifaceted reasons and determinants for non-adherence will be explored,
in addition to understanding the important supportive role HCPs can play in behavioral solutions to non-adherence.
Prof. John Weinman
Shhhh… avoiding acute crises in ‘silent disorders’
Patients with silent disorders can struggle to remain adherent to their medication over the longer term.
Whilst the need to take treatment is clear during a ‘crisis’, this wanes over time increasing the risk of additional episodes/attacks.
In this session, patient support solutions will be discussed, addressing both intentional and non-intentional non-adherence along
with the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches in optimizing outcomes for patients with conditions that manifest ‘silently’.
Prof. Michael Strupp – Prof. Joseph Zohar – Prof. Atul Pathak
Improving medication adherence with motivational interviewing – example of a heart failure patient
Understanding a patient’s preferences, beliefs and motivations are crucial factors for evoking their autonomy in decision making.
In this session, the basic principles and techniques of motivational interviewing will be discussed and demonstrated
using the setting of a patient with heart failure, with tips on how to apply this approach to general patient management
and especially the communication with the patient.
Prof. Atul Pathak
Acting on the unseen: How do we help patients to remain adherent when they are asymptomatic?
Adherence to medication and lifestyle changes can be challenging to maintain when patients are asymptomatic
even though consequences can be severe e.g., in hypertension and dyslipidemia. Support strategies will be discussed
including the quality of the patient-provider relationship, the role of the provider’s communication style,
and the value of a patient-focused approach.
Prof. Markus Schlaich – Prof. S. Lale Tokgözoğlu – Dr. Sheri Pruitt
Introducing the my a:care motivational solution app
The my a:care app is a mobile health solution designed to improve patient motivation to stick to their treatment,
and assist with behavior change. This session will showcase how this digital resource aims to support improving outcomes
using validated techniques, such as motivational interventions, health insights and reminders, in order to tailor the support to each patient.
Prof. John Piette
Prof. John Weinman

DAY 2: October 21st, 2021

Introduction – Behaviors and beliefs: the foundations of adherence
Are patients really forgetting to take their medication as they claim?
To improve our understanding of the influences underpinning non-adherence, it is crucial to understand the drivers of health behaviors,
including the beliefs and barriers to taking medication. Dr Rob Horne will discuss key concepts underlying these beliefs and behaviors,
as well as assessment of these factors in a clinical setting.
Cem Arkilic – Prof. John Weinman – Prof. Rob Horne
The paradox of non-adherence in symptomatic disease
Non-adherence is often perceived as associated with asymptomatic disease.
However, poor adherence also affects and impacts symptomatic and painful conditions, often with a chronic nature.
In this session, you will learn more about this paradox and how to best manage it.
Poor adherence in pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (PEI) is common, despite the presence of overt symptoms impacting quality of life.
Other factors may further impact medication efficacy and adherence. This session addresses, amongst others,
an empathetic approach to doctor-patient communication.
Prof. Matthias Löhr – Dr. Sheri Pruitt
Improving access to self-management support for patients with chronic conditions: digital solutions
Some recent digital innovations in the adherence space have demonstrated that they contribute to, and improve, adherence
– especially in the context of chronic disease. This session will address how these may be deployed and leveraged
across different geographies and healthcare systems.
Prof. John Piette – Dr. Bernard Vrijens – Prof. Enrique de Madaria
Principles of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) stewardship and impact of adherence
This session reviews the principles of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) stewardship, underlines some of the behavioral issues
around AMR and discusses the impact of adherence through illustrative case studies from the perspective of both patient and physician.
Prof. Evangelos J. Giamarellos-Bourboulis – Prof. John Weinman
Individualized adherence strategies and their impact on patient experience in women’s health
Non-adherence to treatment in women’s health can result from many different beliefs.
Here we will look at the necessity-concerns framework, which supports understanding of an individual’s interaction
with the condition/treatment, in addition to techniques for improving communication.
The application of this patient-centered, shared decision-making approach will be illustrated with different clinical scenarios.
Prof. Rossella Napi – Prof. Johannes Bitzer – Prof. Rob Horne
Prof. John Weinman

The a:care congress is a milestone in Abbott’s pioneering a:care program, developed to educate healthcare professionals, and empower patients to improve adherence to their treatment.

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