Determinants of adherence to diabetes treatment

J Diabetes. 2015 Nov;7(6):864-71. doi: 10.1111/1753-0407.12264. Epub 2015 Mar 4.


Background: Understanding and improving medication adherence is crucial in diabetes management. Adherence to a diabetes regimen can improve glucose control and limit the development of complications. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the extent to which a variety of factors influence diabetes medication adherence.

Methods: A medication adherence survey was made available on WebMD, a medical information website for patients and/or consumers. Respondents were residents of the US, ≥18 years old, and diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (self-reported).

Results: Behavioral adherence (self-reported doses missed per week) correlated with perceived adherence (patients' self-report of their overall impression of medication adherence, ranked 0-5; P < 0.001). Adherent patients (very few [0%-10%] issues with adherence) were more likely to report having received information from their physician. Mostly adherent patients (few [11%-26%] issues with adherence) were less likely to obtain information from their physician, but reported more medication self-titration. Somewhat non-adherent patients (some [27%-46%] adherence issues) reported more "self-consciousness factors" and hypoglycemia. Non-adherent patients (many [47%-88%] adherence issues) were more likely to report worries about medication side effects.

Conclusions: Receiving information from a healthcare provider is associated with greater diabetes medication adherence, suggesting the importance of clinicians making time to provide patient education.

Keywords: diabetes; disease management; education; medication adherence; patient; 关键词:糖尿病,疾病管理,教育,用药依从性,患者.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Communication
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / adverse effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Perception
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents