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      Factors Associated with Medication Non-Adherence among Patients with Lifestyle-Related Non-Communicable Diseases


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          This cross-sectional study explored the association between medication non-adherence and its factors in patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) using an online structured questionnaire emailed to 30,000 people (aged over 20 years who lived in Japan at the time of the survey). The questions concerned respondents’ characteristics, medication non-adherence, health beliefs, lifestyles, and trouble taking medication. Factors related to non-adherence were analyzed among patients with lifestyle-related NCDs categorized into two age groups: 20–59, and >60 years. Unintentional ( p < 0.001) and intentional ( p < 0.001) non-adherence were more common among patients aged 20–59 than in older adults. NCD patients aged 20–59 experienced significantly more trouble taking medication than older adults. Multiple regression analysis showed that for patients aged 20–59 with NCDs, unintentional non-adherence was significantly and positively associated with current smoking habits (β = 0.280, p < 0.001), while intentional non-adherence was significantly and positively associated with alcohol consumption (β = 0.147, p = 0.020) and current smoking habits (β = 0.172, p = 0.007). In patients aged 20–59, unhealthy eating habits (β = −0.136, p = 0.034) and lack of exercise (β = −0.151, p = 0.020) were negatively associated with intentional non-adherence. In conclusion, factors affecting medication non-adherence in patients with lifestyle-related diseases are related to health awareness, lifestyle, and medication barriers.

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          Most cited references31

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          Type 2 diabetes in adolescents and young adults

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            Physicians' characteristics influence patients' adherence to medical treatment: results from the Medical Outcomes Study.

            The influence of physicians' attributes and practice style on patients' adherence to treatment was examined in a 2-year longitudinal study of 186 physicians and their diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease patients. A physician-level analysis was conducted, controlling for baseline patient adherence rates and for patient characteristics predictive of adherence in previous analyses. General adherence and adherence to medication, exercise, and diet recommendations were examined. Baseline adherence rates were associated with adherence rates 2 years later. Other predictors were physician job satisfaction (general adherence), number of patients seen per week (medication), scheduling a follow-up appointment (medication), tendency to answer patients' questions (exercise), number of tests ordered (diet), seriousness of illness (diet), physician specialty (medication, diet), and patient health distress (medication, exercise).
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              Patient characteristics associated with medication adherence.

              Despite evidence indicating therapeutic benefit for adhering to a prescribed regimen, many patients do not take their medications as prescribed. Non-adherence often leads to morbidity and to higher health care costs. The objective of the study was to assess patient characteristics associated with medication adherence across eight diseases. Retrospective data from a repository within an integrated health system was used to identify patients ≥18 years of age with ICD-9-CM codes for primary or secondary diagnoses for any of eight conditions (depression, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, or osteoporosis). Electronic pharmacy data was then obtained for 128 medications used for treatment. Medication possession ratios (MPR) were calculated for those with one condition and one drug (n=15,334) and then for the total population having any of the eight diseases (n=31,636). The proportion of patients adherent (MPR ≥80%) was summarized by patient and living-area (census) characteristics. Bivariate associations between drug adherence and patient characteristics (age, sex, race, education, and comorbidity) were tested using contingency tables and chi-square tests. Logistic regression analysis examined predictors of adherence from patient and living area characteristics. Medication adherence for those with one condition was higher in males, Caucasians, older patients, and those living in areas with higher education rates and higher income. In the total population, adherence increased with lower comorbidity and increased number of medications. Substantial variation in adherence was found by condition with the lowest adherence for diabetes (51%) and asthma (33%). The expectation of high adherence due to a covered pharmacy benefit, and to enhanced medication access did not hold. Differences in medication adherence were found across condition and by patient characteristics. Great room for improvement remains, specifically for diabetes and asthma.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Pharmacy (Basel)
                Pharmacy (Basel)
                Pharmacy: Journal of Pharmacy Education and Practice
                22 April 2021
                June 2021
                : 9
                : 2
                [1 ]School of Pharmacy, Nihon University, Chiba 274-8555, Japan; watanabe.fumiyuki@ 123456nihon-u.ac.jp
                [2 ]Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Teikyo Heisei University, Tokyo 164-8530, Japan; m.kamei@ 123456thu.ac.jp
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: nakajima.rie@ 123456nihon-u.ac.jp ; Tel.: +81-474657389
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                unintentional non-adherence,intentional non-adherence,non-communicable diseases,health locus of control


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