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New EU research project BEAMER aims to improve patients' therapy adherence

Published: 11th November 2021 Last updated: 12th November 2021

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The International Initiative for Innovative Medicines (IMI) announced this week the launch of a project investigating the factors that influence patients' adherence to therapy. Failure to adhere to therapy (non-adherence) is associated with negative, sometimes dangerous, patient outcomes and significant healthcare costs. IMI is developing a model to better understand and support the patient, improve medical outcomes and promote further adherence. Tilburg University is also part of the group.

The five-year project ‘BEhavioral and Adherence Model for improving quality, health outcomes and cost-Effectiveness of healthcaRe (BEAMER)’ is co-directed by Pfizer and Merck. Project leader is the University of Porto and the project brings together 28 European partners from academia, civil society and industry.

From Tilburg University, Nadine Bol, Frans Folkvord and Emiel Krahmer (Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences) are involved in the project. Nadine Bol: ‘In recent years we have done a lot of research on how (complex) health information - often based on data - is and can be communicated within healthcare, such as within oncology. We are looking forward to applying our expertise now in this European project.’

Premature deaths

Patients' failure to follow prescribed treatments poses a huge health challenge. It is sometimes dangerous for patients, contributing to 200,000 premature deaths in the EU each year. It places an economic burden on the healthcare system. Failure to adhere to therapy is estimated to cause about 125,000,000 euros in costs for avoidable hospitalizations, emergency room and outpatient visits for adults each year. 

Despite existing research on therapy-specific adherence, there are few general insights into how adherence can be improved across the health care system. Therefore, BEAMER aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence patient adherence, regardless of therapeutic area, and design effective solutions. To achieve these goals, the project will create a general model of the significant factors that influence non-adherent behavior, based on behavioral theory. 

Claire Everitt, BEAMER industry, project leader at Pfizer. "We hope this project will provide the tools to help industry, physicians and healthcare systems improve therapy adherence by identifying and addressing patient needs."

For more information, please contact science editor Tineke Bennema, tel. 013 4668998, persvoorlichters@tilburguniversity.edu