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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2009 Apr 1;66(7):657-64. doi: 10.2146/ajhp080064.

Relationships between beliefs about medications and adherence.

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School of Medicine, George-town University, Washington, DC, USA.



The relationships between beliefs about medications, health literacy, and self-reported medication adherence are examined.


Patients from an inner-city hospital pharmacy completed an in-person, interviewer-assisted questionnaire that included the Morisky 8-item Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8), the Beliefs About Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ), and the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine (REALM). Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine predictors of self-reported medication adherence as determined by the MMAS-8. Variables included in the model were summary scores from the BMQ, REALM, and patient or regimen characteristics that were significantly associated with the MMAS-8.


A majority of the 275 study participants were African-American (86.2%), were women (73.1%), and could read at less than a high school reading level (59.7%). The average age was 53.9 years. Approximately half of the patients (52.7%) reported low medication adherence (MMAS-8 score of >2). Multivariate analyses indicated several factors were associated with low self-reported adherence, including negative beliefs about medications, younger age, low medication self-efficacy, and hyperlipidemia. Health literacy was not independently associated with beliefs or adherence.


Patients who had negative beliefs about medications, who were <65 years of age, or who had low medication self-efficacy reported low medication adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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