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Incomplete medication adherence of chronically ill patients in German primary care

Authors Hüther J, von Wolff A, Stange D, Härter M, Baehr M, Dartsch D, Kriston L

Received 21 September 2012

Accepted for publication 17 November 2012

Published 22 March 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 237—244


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Jakob Hüther,1 Alessa von Wolff,1 Dorit Stange,2 Martin Härter,1 Michael Baehr,2 Dorothee C Dartsch,3 Levente Kriston1

1Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; 2Hospital Pharmacy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; 3Institute of Pharmacy, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Background: Incomplete medication adherence is a major problem in health care worldwide. Patients who adhere to medical treatment have a better prognosis and create fewer costs.
Objective: To assess the degree of incomplete adherence of chronically ill routine primary care patients in a German setting and analyze the association between incomplete medication adherence, as well as clinical and sociodemographic patient characteristics.
Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, chronically ill patients were asked to assess their adherence in primary care retrospectively using the Medication Adherence Report Scale (MARS-D) questionnaire. To investigate the association of incomplete adherence with sociodemographic and clinical data, univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted.
Results: In total, 62.1% of 190 patients were categorized as incompletely adherent. The mean MARS-D score was 23.5 (standard deviation = 2.7). Analyses revealed no statistically significant associations at P < 0.05 between degree of adherence and patient characteristics. The total explained variance amounted to 11.8% (Nagelkerke’s R2 = 0.118) in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: Previously reported results regarding associations of sociodemographic and clinical data with incomplete medication adherence could not be confirmed for this sample of chronically ill patients. In order to be able to provide guidelines for the reduction of incomplete medication adherence in German primary care, further research is needed.

Keywords: medication, adherence, chronic illness, primary care, Germany, MARS

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