Understanding Processes, Outcomes, and Contexts in Medication Adherence: The Medication Adherence Context and Outcomes (MACO) Framework
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Poor medication adherence is a significant problem, yet interventions to improve it have been largely ineffective. Existing ecological models indicate that adherence is multi-dimensional; however, they do not reflect understanding of context-specific processes and how they lead to adherence outcomes. A framework that reflects context-specific processes is important because it could be used to inform context-specific intervention delivery and measure associated adherence outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to describe the Medication Adherence Context and Outcomes (MACO) framework, which includes contexts (ie, clinics, pharmacies, and home) and context-specific processes (ie, shared decision-making, prescription filling strategies, home medication management) that lead to adherence outcomes (initiation, implementation, discontinuation, and persistence). The Medication and Adherence Contexts and Outcomes (MACO) framework was iteratively developed between 2015 and 2018 based on theory, practice, and research and combining patient experience journey mapping to chronologically describe the environmental contexts and actions (processes) that occur within the contexts and how they contribute to medication adherence as outcome. The three distinct yet interrelated contexts described in the MACO framework are 1) clinical encounters, 2) pharmacy encounters, and 3) day-to-day home management. Within these contexts are specific medication management actions that occur (processes) in order to produce adherence-related outcomes (initiation, implementation, and discontinuation/persistence). The MACO framework distinguishes context-specific processes and outcomes. The MACO framework may be useful to understand at which point(s) along the continuum people experience problems with managing medications. This understanding is potentially useful for developing and delivering context-specific interventions that are based on processes that underlie nonadherence and selecting adherence measures appropriate for the contexts.