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Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Nov;22(3):584-6. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.08.007. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Adherence to antiepileptic drugs and beliefs about medication among predominantly ethnic minority patients with epilepsy.

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY 11203, USA.


The current study examined beliefs about medication and their association with adherence to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) among predominantly ethnic minority, low-income patients with epilepsy (PWE). Seventy-two PWE completed standardized questionnaires. The Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire was used to assess perceptions about AEDs and medications in general. Adherence was measured with the Morisky 4-item scale and via participant self-rating. On the Morisky scale, 63% of patients endorsed at least one item for nonadherence; forgetfulness was most often endorsed (50%). There was a significant relationship between seizure frequency and adherence (Morisky: r=0.33, P=0.006; self-rating: r=-0.35, P=0.003). Patients with lower self-rated adherence expressed greater concerns about AEDs (r=-0.25, P=0.036) and beliefs that medications, in general, may be intrinsically harmful (r=-0.26, P=0.032) and minimally beneficial (r=0.36; P<0.002), as compared with more adherent patients. These findings inform future educational interventions in this population of PWE.

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