Factors influencing medication adherence in patients with heart failure

Heart Lung. Jan-Feb 2008;37(1):8-16, 16.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2007.02.003.


Background: The purpose of this study was to explore factors influencing adherence to the prescribed medical regimen in patients with heart failure (HF).

Methods: A convenience sample of 7 women and 9 men with HF participated in in-depth interviews. The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, and checked for accuracy. Content analysis strategies were used to analyze the data.

Results: The desire to be healthy was the primary motivator in the decision to take medications as prescribed. The process of making connections enhanced medication adherence. Participants connected knowledge of their illness and their symptoms with their medication's effectiveness in decreasing these symptoms. Connections to a health care provider and family enhanced treatment adherence. Participants relied on environmental cues as reminders to take their medications, resulting in a habit of daily medication use.

Conclusions: Education that helps clients understand their illness, particular symptoms and how medications help them may be beneficial in promoting adherence. A positive working relationship with the health care provider may result in improved adherence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Qualitative Research
  • Tape Recording