Diabetes mellitus is a growing global health problem that affects patients of all ages. Even though diabetes mellitus is recognized as a major chronic illness, adherence to antidiabetic medicines has often been found to be unsatisfactory. This study was conducted to assess adherence to medications and to identify factors that are associated with nonadherence in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients at Primary Health Clinics of the Ministry of Health in Malaysia.
The cross-sectional survey was carried out among T2DM patients to assess adherence to medication in primary health clinics. Adherence was measured by using the Medication Compliance Questionnaire that consists of a total of seven questions. Other data, such as patient demographics, treatment, outcome, and comorbidities were also collected from patient medical records.
A total of 557 patients were recruited in the study. Approximately 53% of patients in the study population were nonadherent. Logistic regression analysis was performed to predict the factors associated with nonadherence. Variables associated with nonadherence were age, odds ratio 0.967 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.948–0.986); medication knowledge, odds ratio 0.965 (95% CI: 0.946–0.984); and comorbidities, odds ratio 1.781 (95% CI: 1.064–2.981).
Adherence to medication in T2DM patients in the primary health clinics was found to be poor. This is a cause of concern, because nonadherence could lead to a worsening of disease. Improving medication knowledge by paying particular attention to different age groups and patients with comorbidities could help improve adherence.