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Assessing Oral Medication Adherence and Identifying Predictors of Low Adherence in Chinese Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

Authors Hu W, Hu S, Zhu Y, Chen H, Chen Y

Received 23 February 2020

Accepted for publication 2 June 2020

Published 2 July 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1083—1092


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Wen Hu,* Shurong Hu,* Yimiao Zhu, Hanwen Chen, Yan Chen

Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Department of Gastroenterology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou 310009, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yan Chen Tel +86-571-87783936

Background: Poor medication adherence in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) had a negative impact on disease outcomes. In this study, we aimed to determine predictors of low adherence in the Chinese IBD populations and also aimed to compare a self-reported scale to a pharmacy refill index in assessing adherence of 5-ASA and azathioprine taken by Chinese IBD patients.
Patients and Methods: Adult patients with IBD who had been taking 5-ASA or azathioprine for at least 3 months were recruited from hospital outpatient clinics. The MPR was calculated from previous six-month pharmacy refill data and the self-reported Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) was issued through QR code questionnaires. Intentional and unintentional adherence scores were calculated according to specific items. Non-adherence was defined as MMAS-8 scores < 6 or MPR < 0.8.
Results: The response rate in the IBD patients was as high as 97%. 5-ASA non-adherence rate assessed by MPR was 30% and 37% by MMAS-8, and azathioprine non-adherence rate assessed was 33% by both MPR and MMAS-8. In a linear regression analysis, MPR value was significantly correlated with MMAS-8 score in 5-ASA group (r=0.4, p=0.003), and significantly correlated with unintentional adherence score (r=0.47, p< 0.001). No significant correlation was observed between MPR value and MMAS-8 score in azathioprine group. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that age (OR: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.02– 1.13; P=0.0015) and previous abdominal surgery (OR: 3.18; 95% CI: 2.09– 4.27; P=0.04) were associated with high medication adherence. While patients who had small intestine lesion (OR: 0.09; 95% CI: 0.01– 0.17; P=0.006) were associated with low adherence.
Conclusion: Predictors of low adherence were young age, lesions on small intestine, whereas previous abdominal surgery was a protective factor. This study also demonstrated that the MMAS-8 scale was a valid instrument for assessing 5-ASA adherence in IBD patients. Unintentional non-adherence was significantly related to the total non-adherence, which would allow to use the tool to seek ways for adherence improvement.

Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease, medication adherence, self-reported Morisky Medication Adherence Scale, Medication possession ratio

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