Medication non-adherence among older adults: a review of strategies and interventions for improvement

J Gerontol Nurs. 2004 Jul;30(7):33-43. doi: 10.3928/0098-9134-20040701-08.


Medication non-adherence among older adults is a prevalent and costly problem; approximately one half have problems following their prescribed medication regimen, and more than 10% of hospital admissions are the result of medication non-adherence. In this literature review, medication non-adherence is defined and described among adults age 50 and older. Factors associated with medication non-adherence are presented, interventions to improve medication non-adherence are discussed, and methods for assessing medication non-adherence are reviewed. In addition, nursing assessment and intervention to improve medication non-adherence are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Counseling
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Depression / psychology
  • Drug Monitoring / instrumentation
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Drug Monitoring / nursing
  • Drug Therapy* / nursing
  • Drug Therapy* / psychology
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Geriatric Nursing / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Reminder Systems
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Total Quality Management
  • Treatment Refusal* / psychology
  • Treatment Refusal* / statistics & numerical data