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Can Respir J. 2014 Jul-Aug;21(4):221-6. Epub 2014 Apr 7.

Similarities and differences between asthma health care professional and patient views regarding medication adherence.



The recent literature has reported disparate views between patients and health care professionals regarding the roles of various factors affecting medication adherence.


To examine the perspectives of asthma patients, physicians and allied health professionals regarding adherence to asthma medication.


A qualitative, multiple, collective case study design with six focus-group interviews including 38 participants (13 asthma patients, 13 pulmonologist physicians and 12 allied health professionals involved in treating asthma patients) was conducted.


Patients, physicians and allied health professionals understood adherence to be an active process. In addition, all participants believed they had a role in treatment adherence, and agreed that the cost of medication was high and that access to the health care system was restricted. Major disagreements regarding patient-related barriers to medication adherence were identified among the groups. For example, all groups referred to side effects; however, while patients expressed their legitimate concerns, health care professionals believed that patients' opinions of medication side effects were based on inadequate perceptions.


Differences regarding medication adherence and barriers to adherence among the groups examined in the present study will provide insight into how disagreements may be translated to overcome barriers to optimal asthma adherence. Furthermore, when designing an intervention to enhance medication adherence, it is important to acknowledge that perceptual gaps exist and must be addressed.

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