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The influence of frailty syndrome on medication adherence among elderly patients with hypertension

Authors Jankowska-Polańska B, Dudek K, Szymanska-Chabowska A, Uchmanowicz I

Received 31 May 2016

Accepted for publication 27 September 2016

Published 7 December 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1781—1790

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S113994

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Beata Jankowska-Polańska,1 Krzysztof Dudek,2 Anna Szymanska-Chabowska,3 Izabella Uchmanowicz1

1Department of Clinical Nursing, Faculty of Health Science, Wroclaw Medical University, 2Department of Logistic and Transport Systems, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Wroclaw University of Technology, 3Department of Internal Medicine, Occupational Diseases, Hypertension and Clinical Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland


Background: Hypertension affects about 80% of people older than 80 years; however, diagnosis and treatment are difficult because about 55% of them do not adhere to treatment recommendations due to low socioeconomic status, comorbidities, age, physical limitations, and frailty syndrome.
Aims: The purposes of this study were to evaluate the influence of frailty on medication adherence among elderly hypertensive patients and to assess whether other factors influence adherence in this group of patients.
Methods and results: The study included 296 patients (mean age 68.8±8.0) divided into frail (n=198) and non-frail (n=98) groups. The Polish versions of the Tilburg Frailty Indicator (TFI) for frailty assessment and 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale for adherence assessment were used. The frail patients had lower medication adherence in comparison to the non-frail subjects (6.60±1.89 vs 7.11±1.42; P=0.028). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients showed that significant determinants with negative influence on the level of adherence were physical (rho =-0.117), psychological (rho =-0.183), and social domain (rho =-0.163) of TFI as well as the total score of the questionnaire (rho =-0.183). However, multiple regression analysis revealed that only knowledge about complications of untreated hypertension (β=0.395) and satisfaction with the home environment (β=0.897) were found to be independent stimulants of adherence level.
Conclusion: Frailty is highly prevalent among elderly hypertensive patients. Higher level of frailty among elderly patients can be considered as a determinant of lower adherence. However, social support and knowledge about complications of untreated hypertension are the most important independent determinants of adherence to pharmacological treatment.

Keywords: frailty syndrome, ageing, hypertension, medication adherence, geriatric syndrome

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