Factors affecting drug treatment compliance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatol Int. 2007 Jun;27(8):743-6. doi: 10.1007/s00296-006-0299-9. Epub 2007 Jan 11.


We prospectively examined 100 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients to calculate drug compliance rates, characteristics of compliant and non-compliant patients, and changes in compliance over time. Three assessments were obtained over a one-year follow-up. Detailed drug history of RA and for concomitant disease was queried. Sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and rheumatoid factor values, Ritchie articular index, morning stiffness, and health assessment questionnaire were evaluated. Twenty-six patients (30.2%) were consistently compliant and 10 patients (11.6%) were consistently non-compliant. Older age was associated with a greater likelihood of compliance. Comparison of compliant and non-compliant groups revealed no statistically significant difference in distribution of gender, disease duration, and total number of pills taken for RA and/or total number of pills taken for any reason. In conclusion, compliance to drugs in RA patients is a common problem. Clinical and laboratory activity of RA had less influence on drug compliance. Older age is associated with a greater likelihood of compliance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antirheumatic Agents