Background: Medication adherence is a complex phenomenon, influenced by a variety of factors. Most adherence research focuses on one medicine and does not represent the realities of clinical family medicine. This analysis examined factors associated with medication knowledge and adherence in family medicine patients with chronic conditions.
Methods: The Residency Research Network of South Texas (RRNeST) enrolled 150 patients with chronic disease who "sometimes have trouble taking medicines." Seventy-five percent were Latinos. This cross-sectional analysis used baseline survey data from an intervention study. Investigators correlated medication knowledge and adherence with known predictors--patient, health, medication, economic, and physician factors. New variables related to patients' motivation to change treatment behaviors ("importance" and "confidence") were also included.
Results: Linear regression analysis demonstrated that patient satisfaction, education level, and confidence were associated with better medication knowledge. Higher confidence, Spanish language, better functional and health status, and more prescription medicines were correlated with medication adherence.
Conclusions: We recommend that family physicians enhance medication adherence by providing good information about treatment and counseling strategies to build patients' confidence. Our findings suggest that poor health status can be a barrier to, rather than a motivator for, treatment adherence.