Patients want to know more about how statins work, the reasons for prescribing them and their possible side effects.
Statins lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of recurrent stroke or heart attack. They also help prevent cardiovascular disease developing in people at high risk. At a population level, statins reduce the overall incidence of cardiovascular disease for people at moderate risk, but the benefits for an individual are less clear-cut.
This review found that people are happy to take statins if they believe they will prolong good quality of life.
Barriers include mistrust and scepticism about over-prescribing. Worry about possible debilitating side effects, toxicity and fear of long-term dependence on statins were also identified.
Frank conversations about the benefits and risks for each individual with discussion addressing the patient’s specific concerns, priorities and goals are an important step in facilitating statin use and adherence.
If you are interested in this article you may be interested in PIF’s event: Communicating Benefits and Risks in Health Information on Wednesday 10 October 2018 for which there are still a few spaces left.