Purpose Underuse of ACE inhibitors (ACEIs) following hospitalization for congestive heart failure (CHF) is a significant public health problem. It is plausible that a patient-mediated intervention will improve utilization of ACEIs in CHF, but whether patients are familiar with the term "ACE inhibitor " is unclear.
Methods A semistructured interview was conducted among 50 inpatients for chest pain and other cardiac symptoms at two adult hospitals—one inner city (n = 25), and the other suburban (n = 25). Participants were asked if they "heard of " (1) aspirin, (2) beta-blockers, (3) calcium channel blockers, (4) Plavix, (5) ACE inhibitors, and (6) statins. Medication use prior to hospital admission was determined from the medical record. We calculated a weighted familiarity index (FI) = (2 3 proportion "heard of " the drug among nonusers) + (proportion "heard of " the drug among users).
Results Mean age was 62 years; about half were female and half African American. The median educational attainment was high school graduate. The FI calculation for the six classes of drugs is in the table below.
Conclusion Compared to other commonly used medications for heart disease, most adults are unfamiliar with the term "ACE inhibitor." A patient-mediated intervention to improve use and adherence to these agents may have to start with creating a brand identification for these drugs.
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