Patient-identified barriers to asthma treatment adherence: responses to interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2005 Feb;25(1):107-30. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2004.09.005.


This article reviews 32 patient-interview studies that revealed that the most common barriers to adherence revealed by patients included concerns about drug safety and cost and a belief that the patient's asthma was not severe enough to require daily treatment. Important but less commonly cited concerns included worry about dependence or diminished effectiveness with long-term use of the medication. Children and their parents expressed concerns about safety, dependence, peer stigmatization, and parent-child conflict over taking medication. Low-income and minority patients cited similar concerns and barriers that included cost, difficulty of obtaining medication, daily life hassles, and a general distrust of the medical establishment. The information obtained from patients' perspectives indicates the need to reappraise current strategies for the management of asthma, including a more flexible approach to the use of expert guidelines for the treatment of asthma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Bronchodilator Agents / administration & dosage
  • Bronchodilator Agents / adverse effects
  • Bronchodilator Agents / economics
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Drug Costs
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Peer Group
  • Safety
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Bronchodilator Agents