Understanding and Addressing Problematic Medication-Taking Behaviors in Diabetes
March 19, 2021

This course is a one-day virtual interactive workshop devoted to helping healthcare providers recognize the widespread problems associated with problematic medication-taking behaviors (PMT), to improve their ability to identify PMT, and to more confidently address PMT through the use of innovative behavioral strategies.

By the conclusion of the program, participants will have a more comprehensive understanding of the patient perspective on diabetes and diabetes medications, will be able to assess and decipher the emotional and behavioral aspects of complex case presentations related to PMT and select the most critical problematic issues that need to be addressed. Participants will be able to communicate more effectively and collaboratively with their patients regarding PMT issues during all phases of the disease and will have acquired the skills and confidence needed to help their patients feel more engaged with their own diabetes management and more comfortable with following medication recommendations.

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Learning Objectives

Following this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the complex role of motivation and psychosocial factors as they influence patient medication-taking behaviors with cardiometabolic medications. 
  • Perform a comprehensive assessment of the common psychosocial obstacles to cardiometabolic medication initiation, medication-taking, and persistence. 
  • Describe the key strategies for addressing patient reluctance to initiate new cardiometabolic medications and/or maintain medication-taking over time. 
  • Demonstrate collaborative communication skills aimed towards enhancing patients' beliefs that prescribed medications are necessary and worthwhile. 
  • Describe the major strategies for addressing broader psychosocial issues, such as depression and diabetes-related emotional distress, which may contribute to problematic medication adherence. 
  • Demonstrate the use of diabetes-focused action planning strategies.  
  • Describe the key strategies for providing the ongoing support and resources needed to make medication-taking behaviors more doable over the long-term. 


9:00 AM – 3:35 PM Pacific Daylight Time (PST)

9:00 – 9:55 AM  Problematic Medication Use: How Big is the Problem?
  • Glycemic outcomes remain worrisome
  • Impact of problematic medication use on cardiometabolic outcomes
  • How problematic medication use is assessed
  • Prevalence of problematic medication use
  • Problematic medication initiation (orals and injectables)
9:55 – 10:00 AM Break
10:00 – 11:00 AM A New Model for Understanding the Problem
  • The limits of current interventions to date
  • The behavioral focus on understanding medication use problems, and why this is inadequate (beyond forgetfulness)
  • Key contributors (the myth of the "non-compliant" patient; the essential rationality of patient behavior)
11:00 – 11:05 AM Break
11:05 AM – 12:05 PM Case Presentations - Developing Skills for Identifying the Critical Contributors
12:05 – 12:35 PM Lunch Break
12:35 – 1:35 PM  Key Interventions: Addressing Mistrust and Misbeliefs
  • Practical strategies for enhancing patient-HCP trust, addressing diabetes misbeliefs, and addressing medication misbeliefs
1:35 – 1:40 PM Break
1:40 – 2:35 PM Key Interventions: Behavioral Interventions
  • Practical strategies for addressing forgetfulness (and when to do so)
  • Current and future technology solutions
  • Addressing treatment complexity, SDOH, and costs
2:35 – 2:40 PM Mini-Break
2:40 – 3:35 PM Putting it all Together: Assessing and Addressing Complex Cases


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Behavioral Diabetes Institute. The University of California San Diego School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA: The University of California San Diego School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses: For the purposes of recertification, the American Nurses Credentialing Center accepts AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ issued by organizations accredited by the ACCME. For the purpose of re-licensure, the California Board of Registered Nursing accepts AMA PRA Category 1 credits

Physician Assistants: The AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ from organizations accredited for ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

Pharmacists: Application will be made to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education to provide credit for pharmacists.

Psychologists: The California Board of Psychology recognizes and accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ for license renewal. Psychologists outside of California should check with their state and local boards to ensure that ACCME accredited activities are acceptable for renewal.

Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists: To satisfy the requirement for renewal of certification by continuing education for the Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education (CBDCE) continuing education activities must be diabetes related and approved for a provider on the CBDCE list of approved providers (cbdce.org). CBDCE does not approve continuing education. The University of California San Diego is accredited by the ACCME, which is on the CBDCE list of approved providers.

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Content is subject to change without notice. Please refer to the activity website for the most current information.

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