Assessment of Factors Associated with Low Adherence to Pharmacotherapy in Elderly Patients

    Published on:April 2017
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2017; 9(2):272-276
    Original Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2017.9.53

    Naveen Thekkemelathil Roy1, Manjusha Sajith1, Madhu Pankaj Bansode2

    1Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Poona College of Pharmacy, Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA.

    2Department of General Medicine, Bharati Hospital and Research Centre, Pune, Maharashtra, INDIA.


    Objective: To assess factors associated with low adherence to pharmacotherapy in elderly patients. Methods: A prospective cross sectional observational study was conducted in Bharati Hospital and Research Centre, Pune over a period of 6 months. A total of 240 Elderly patients (≥60 years), taking 4 or more medications daily for any medical illness or illnesses were enrolled in the study. The details like age, gender, educational and employment status, physical activity, social history, past medical and medication history, current medications were noted in self pre designed patient pro forma. The medication adherence was assessed by using Brief Medication Questionnaire (BMQ). Results: The assessment of the patient’s responses to the four scale BMQ showed that out of 240 patients, only 5.8% patients were adherent in regimen scale, 60% were adherent in belief scale, 15% were adherent in recall scale and 37.5% were adherent in access scale. Complexity of medication regimen (74.1%) was the main barrier to medication adherence. More than half of patients were unable to name their medications (68.3%). The main reason for non adherence would be related to patient related factors such as lack of knowledge about the disease (63.3%), inadequate knowledge regarding therapy (60%), taking so many pills at the same time (51.7%), forgetfulness (50.84%), difficulty in remembering to take all the pills (48.3%) and difficulty on refilling in time (20.0%). Conclusion: Various factors associated with medication nonadherence were complexity of medication regimen, lack of knowledge about the disease and therapy, difficulty in remembering to take medications and taking so many pills at the same time.

    Key words: Brief medication questionnaire, Factors associated with medication non-adherence.

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