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Are beliefs about medicines associated to self-reported adherence among pharmacy clients?

Authors Ann-Charlotte Mårdby
Ingemar Åkerlind
Tove Hedenrud
Published in International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume 13
Issue Supplement
Pages 217
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 217
Language en
Keywords beliefs about medicines; pharmacy clients; adherence; Sweden
Subject categories Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


Purpose: To analyse if general beliefs about medicines were associated with adherence to medicines among pharmacy clients. Results: Questionnaire data about beliefs and adherence concerning medicines were collected from 324 clients (76% women) in seven community pharmacies in Göteborg, Sweden, 2004. The average age was 47 years (range 18-85) and 90% were born in Scandinavia. Almost half of the clients had a university degree. Questionnaires with missing answers from statements regarding beliefs about medicines and adherence were excluded from the analysis. The analysis included 265 clients of which 54% were considered non-adherent. Almost 40% of the clients stopped taking their medicines sometimes, often or always. A logistic regression analysis, with adherence as the dependent variable and three types of beliefs as independent variables, revealed that beliefs about medicines as something harmful was associated with non-adherence. Being born outside the Nordic countries was statistically significant and a potential confounder. However, the association remained between beliefs about medicines as something harmful and non-adherence. Conclusions: Beliefs about medicines as something harmful was associated to non-adherence to medicines among Swedish pharmacy clients. The association remained after controlling for the background variables. Proposals for action: All health service personnel should be aware of the importance of the patients’ risk-benefit beliefs concerning treatment and medication regimens. We ought to encourage patients to express their own thoughts as a base for the information process. This could help to increase adherence to medicines.

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