Adherence to preventive medications in asthmatic children at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Malaysia
Adyani Md Redzuan, Meng Soon Lee, Noraida Mohamed Shah
Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Purpose: Asthma affects an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Poor adherence to prescribed preventive medications, especially among children with asthma, leads to increased mortality and morbidity. The purpose of this study was to assess the adherence and persistence levels of asthmatic children at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center (UKMMC), a tertiary care teaching hospital, and to determine the factors that influence adherence to prescribed preventive medications.
Patients and methods: Participants were asthmatic patients aged 18 years and younger with at least one prescription for a preventive medication refilled between January and December 2011. Refill records from the pharmacy dispensing database were used to determine the medication possession ratio (MPR) and continuous measure of gaps (CMG), measures of adherence and persistence levels, respectively.
Results: The sample consisted of 218 children with asthma from the General and Respiratory pediatric clinics at UKMMC. The overall adherence level was 38% (n=83; MPR ≥80%), and the persistence level was 27.5% (n=60; CMG ≤20%). We found a significant association between the adherence and persistence levels (r=0.483, P<0.01). The presence of comorbidities significantly predicted the adherence (odds ratio [OR] =16.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 7.76–33.84, P<0.01) and persistence level (OR=2.63, 95% CI: 0.13–52.79, P<0.01). Other factors, including age, sex, ethnicity, duration of asthma diagnosis, and number of prescribed preventive medications did not significantly affect adherence or persistence (P>0.05).
Conclusion: In conclusion, the adherence level among children with asthma at UKMMC was low. The presence of comorbidities was found to influence adherence towards preventive medications in asthmatic children.
Keywords: asthma, persistence, non adherence, pediatric patients, medication possession ratio
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