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J Clin Nurs. 2007 Jan;16(1):141-8.

Adherence to drug treatment in association with how the patient perceives care and information on drugs.

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Department of Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.



This study was to explore concordance with drugs prescribed and the patient's self-reported drug consumption, in relation to the older patient's perceived care and information given.


Lack of adherence to prescriptions may lead to therapeutic failure with risks for relapse, unnecessary suffering and increased costs.


A cross-sectional study with structured interviews of 200 patients who had recently been treated in a medical ward.


Patients' medical records were studied to obtain information on their current use of drugs. The data were analyzed by logistic regression, adherence being the dependent response variable.


The mean age of the study group was 79 years. The number of drugs reported in the medical chart ranged from one to 17 with a mean of 6.9. The patients reported a drug consumption ranging from 0 to 24 with a mean of 7.3. When comparing the interview results with the information in the medical charts, 30% of the patients showed adherence. An association was found between adherence and self-reported health status. Patients in the non-adherent group reported a higher consumption of drugs. Patients felt that the opportunity to ask questions of either the responsible physicians or of the nurses was influential in decreasing risk.


In this study, the patient's total drug consumption was considered. The study showed a large discrepancy between the drugs stated in the medical chart and patient's self-reported drug consumption. The study failed to show that perceived information or educational level had an impact on the results but implicate that the quality of information influences adherence.


It is of importance to recognize patients at risk for non-adherence. Decreased health status and many drugs are the main risk factors for patients being non-adherent, and should be recognized as such.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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