Characteristics of persons who complied with and failed to comply with annual ivermectin treatment

Trop Med Int Health. 2012 Jul;17(7):920-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2012.03007.x. Epub 2012 May 11.


Objective: To assess individual compliance with annual ivermectin treatment in onchocerciasis-endemic villages.

Methods: Multi-site study in eight APOC-sponsored projects in Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda to identify the socio-demographic correlates of compliance with ivermectin treatment. A structured questionnaire was administered on 2305 persons aged 10 years and above. Two categories of respondents were purposively selected to obtain both high and low compliers: people who took ivermectin 6-8 times and 0-2 times previously. Simple descriptive statistics were employed in characterizing the respondents into high and low compliers, while some socio-demographic and key perceptual factors were employed in regression models constructed to explain levels of compliance among the respondents.

Results: Some demographic and perceptual factors associated with compliance were identified. Compliance was more common among men (54.4%) (P < 0.001). Adults (54.6%) had greater rates of high compliance (P < 0.001. The mean age of high compliers (41.5 years) was significantly older (35.8 years) (t = 8.46, P < 0.001). Perception of onchocerciasis and effectiveness of ivermectin influenced compliance. 81.4% of respondents saw benefits in annual ivermectin treatment, high compliance among those who saw benefits was 59.3% compared to 13.3% of those who did not (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Efforts to increase compliance with ivermectin treatment should focus on providing health education to youth and women. Health education should also highlight the benefits of taking ivermectin.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiparasitic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Cameroon
  • Child
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Endemic Diseases / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ivermectin / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nigeria
  • Onchocerciasis / drug therapy*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Uganda
  • Young Adult


  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Ivermectin