Effect of economic barriers to medical care on patients' noncompliance

Public Health Rep. Jan-Feb 1977;92(1):72-8.


The post-hospital care of 290 patients with selected chronic conditions of a specific severity who were discharged over a 3-month period from a general hospital in Halifax, Canada, was studied. The majority of the patients were married. The average age of the men was 59.2 years and of the women 58.1. More than half of the patients belonged to the low socioeconomic group earning between $1,000 and $6,999 a year. Their average period of education was 8.4 years. Interviews with the patients about their compliance with physicians' orders revealed that 40.4 percent had not complied with one or more of their physician's recommendations. Lack of compliance was related to age, marital status, education, income, and severity of disease. It was also associated with high dosages of medicine and multiple prescriptions. Cost barriers constituted a significant factor in noncompliance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Educational Status
  • Family Characteristics
  • Fees, Pharmaceutical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nova Scotia
  • Patient Dropouts*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Sex Factors


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations