Impact of interventions on medication adherence and blood pressure control in patients with essential hypertension: a systematic review by the ISPOR medication adherence and persistence special interest group

Value Health. 2013 Jul-Aug;16(5):863-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2013.03.1631. Epub 2013 Jul 4.


Objectives: To systematically review the evidence on the impact of interventions to improve medication adherence in adults prescribed antihypertensive medications.

Methods: An electronic search was undertaken of articles published between 1979 and 2009, without language restriction, that focused on interventions to improve antihypertensive medication adherence among patients (≥18 years) with essential hypertension. Studies must have measured adherence as an outcome of the intervention. We followed standard guidelines for the conduct and reporting of the review and conducted a narrative synthesis of reported data.

Results: Ninety-seven articles were identified for inclusion; 35 (35 of 97, 36.1%) examined interventions to directly improve medication adherence, and the majority (58 of 97, 59.8%) were randomized controlled trials. Thirty-four (34 of 97, 35.1%) studies reported a statistically significant improvement in medication adherence.

Discussion/conclusions: Interventions aimed at improving patients' knowledge of medications possess the greatest potential clinical value in improving adherence with antihypertensive therapy. However, we identified several limitations of these studies, and advise future researchers to focus on using validated adherence measures, well-designed randomized controlled trials with relevant adherence and clinical outcomes, and guidelines on the appropriate design and analysis of adherence research.

Keywords: hypertension; intervention; medication adherence; uncontrolled blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Essential Hypertension
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Reminder Systems


  • Antihypertensive Agents