Conveying medication benefits to ulcerative colitis patients and effects on patient attitudes regarding thresholds for adherence

Christian P. Selinger*, Yu Kinjo, D. Brian Jones, Peter Katelaris, Grace Chapman, Charles McDonald, Simon Lal, John McLaughlin, Andrew Robinson, Rupert W L Leong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim: Adherence to medication that maintains remission by patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) is poor but little is known regarding patients' perception of medication benefit that may enhance adherence rates. The aims were to study patients' understanding and preference on methods of conveying statistical information and to study indicated thresholds for adherence to medication for UC. Methods: Four methods of displaying information on benefits of maintenance therapy were explained to patients with UC in remission: relative risk reduction [RR], absolute risk reduction [AR], number needed to treat [NNT] and optical representation via Cates plot [CP]. Patients' understanding and preference for each method were evaluated. Participants were asked to state minimum thresholds relating to relapse prevention and colorectal cancer risk reduction that they would require in order for them to adhere to medication for UC. Results: Of 50 participants, 48% preferred data presentation by RR over CP (28%), AR (20%) and NNT (4%). 94% found RR easy to understand, better than AR (88%), CP (74%), or NNT (48%). For bowel cancer prevention, 94% indicated adherence for benefit levels of 61% RR but only 57% for the corresponding CP (P<0.001). For relapse prevention, 78% of patients indicated adherence for benefit levels of 40% RR but only 43% for the corresponding CP (P<0.001). Conclusion: Patients with UC prefer data presented by RR, and apply significantly higher thresholds for adherence when presented with CP compared to RR. Reduction of cancer risk may be a stronger motivator than maintenance of remission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e312-e317
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence;
  • Communication
  • Medication benefits;
  • Ulcerative colitis;


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