Adherence of patients to long-term medication: a cross-sectional study of antihypertensive regimens in Austria.
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate adherence and causes for non-adherence to antihypertensive therapy in Austrian patients. A special focus was placed on social parameters and behavioural theories. METHODS: Patients were invited via advertisements in community pharmacies in Austria to complete an online survey. Inclusion criteria were an age of 18 years or older, a diagnosis of arterial hypertension and a current prescription of antihypertensive medication. Adherence was measured by the four-item Morisky scale. Non-adherence was defined by at least one point in the Morisky scale. Several demographic, social and behavioural parameters were analysed as potential co-variables associated with adherence. RESULTS: A total of 323 patients completed the online survey, of which 109 (33.7%) met the criteria for non-adherence. In a multivariable model, self-efficacy and age were associated with adherence, whereas intention and barriers were linked to non-adherence; 56 patients (17.3%) were classified as intentionally non-adherent. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that non-adherence affects an important proportion of patients in the treatment of arterial hypertension. Young age was a particularly important risk factor for non-adherence, and this patient population is, therefore, in need of special attention. Modifiable risk factors were identified that could help improving the treatment of arterial hypertension and potentially other chronic conditions.
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