Spotlight on Engagement: Olayinka Shiyanbola

Improving Medication Adherence

Lead Researcher: Olayinka Shiyanbola, PhD, B.Pharm; UW-Madison School of Pharmacy

What is the focus of your research?

My research is “patient-centered”. In general, I’m interested in examining patient perceptions, attitudes and roles, as well as investigating how to incorporate perceptions into improving the quality of medication use. My goal is to improve medication use, medication adherence and reduce health disparities among minority and under-served populations. In a current KL2 funded study, I am exploring how African American patients with type 2 diabetes perceive their illness. The goal is to develop a culturally appropriate tool that measures African Americans’ perceptions of diabetes, as well as develop a medication adherence intervention that integrates patient psycho-social factors.

How has stakeholder engagement helped your project so far?

Stakeholder engagement has had a significant impact on my research. Specifically, it has enhanced my data collection process. I have had experience with focus groups in the past where the richness of the data was not always good. As researchers we have a clear idea of what we want, but our questions are often a bit too technical and vague. I took my focus group script to the CARDS and got a lot of feedback. In addition to giving me advice on the wording of questions, they really helped improve my introduction and how I framed the purpose of the focus group discussion. When I got the focus group transcripts back, I could see a real difference in the richness of data — people were able to talk openly and share detailed responses, questions didn’t turn people off, and there was not a single case where a focus group member said “I don’t understand that question.”

What is a lesson you’ve learned from your stakeholder engagement work?

How important it is to get stakeholder feedback on many study documents, including your recruitment materials. I didn’t expect how much improvement there would be in our recruitment flyer! We took our flyer to the CARDS and they gave us so many ideas – about formatting, graphics, how to present the information clearly and even on the “tone” of the words we used.

Services provided by WINRS to the research team:

  • CARDS meetings to review focus group script and recruitment flyer
  • WINRS consultation on the wording of extra focus group questions