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Beliefs about medicines and self-reported adherence among pharmacy clients

Journal article
Authors Ann-Charlotte Mårdby
Tove Hedenrud
Published in Patient Education and Counseling
Volume 69
Pages 158–164
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 158–164
Language en
Keywords Adherence; MARS; Beliefs about medicines; BMQ; Pharmacy clients; Sweden
Subject categories Social and Clinical Pharmacy


Objectives: To analyse any association between general beliefs about medicines and self-reported adherence among pharmacy clients. Further, to examine general beliefs about medicines by background variables. Methods: The data were collected by questionnaires including the general section of the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ), the selfreporting Medication Adherence Report Scale (MARS) and the following background variables: gender, age, education, country of birth and medicine use. The General BMQ measures beliefs about medicines as something harmful (General-Harm), beneficial (General-Benefit) and beliefs about how doctors prescribe medicines (General-Overuse). Results: Of the 324 participating pharmacy clients, 54% were considered non-adherent. An association was found between General-Harm and adherence. Adherent behaviour and higher level of education were associated respectively with more beneficial and less harmful beliefs about medicines. Those born in the Nordic countries regarded medicines as more beneficial. Current users of herbal medicines and non-users of medicines were more likely to believe that doctors overprescribed medicines. Conclusions: General-Harm was associated with adherence to medication among Swedish pharmacy clients. Country of birth, education and medicine use influenced beliefs about medicines. Practice implications: Increased awareness of the patient’s beliefs about medicines is needed among healthcare providers. We should encourage patients to express their views about medicines in order to optimize and personalize the information process. This can stimulate concordance and adherence to medication.

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