Aim: This paper synthesizes findings from available research about medication adherence to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in the population with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Results: This review of literature included 35 articles. Medication adherence to DMARDs ranged from 30% to 107%. Adherence rates of more than 100% indicated that patients took more than the prescribed amount of medication. There were no consistent risk factors for nonadherence to DMARD prescriptions identified, but some evidence was provided for self-efficacy, patient-healthcare provider relationships, social support, patient beliefs about medications, and age as factors affecting medication adherence. Support for educational interventions focused on medication adherence was equivocal.
Conclusion: Further research is necessary to develop a comprehensive, theoretically based understanding of medication adherence in RA patients.