Associations between patients' adherence and GPs' attitudes towards risk, statin therapy and management of non-adherence--a survey and register-based study

Fam Pract. 2016 Apr;33(2):140-7. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmw005. Epub 2016 Mar 1.


Background: Previous studies suggest that doctors' personal lifestyle, risk taking personality and beliefs about risk reducing therapies may affect their clinical decision-making. Whether such factors are further associated with patients' adherence with medication is largely unknown.

Objective: To estimate associations between GPs' attitudes towards risk, statin therapy and management of non-adherence and their patients' adherence, and to identify subgroups of GPs with poor patient adherence.

Methods: All Danish GPs were invited to participate in an online survey. We asked whether they regarded statin treatment as important, how they managed non-adherence and whether non-adherence annoyed them. The Jackson Personality Inventory-revised was used to measure risk attitude. The GPs' responses were linked to register data on their patients' redeemed statin prescriptions. Mixed effect logistic regression was used to estimate associations between patient adherence and GPs' attitudes. Adherence was estimated by the proportion of days covered in a 1-year period using an 80% cut-off.

Results: We received responses from 1398 GPs (42.2%) who initiated statin therapy in 12 192 patients during the study period. In total 6590 (54.1%) of these patients were adherent. Patients who had GPs rarely assessing their treatment adherence were less likely to be adherent than those who had GPs assessing their patients' treatment adherence now and then, odds ratio (OR) 0.86 [confidence interval (CI) 0.77-0.96]. No other associations were found between patients' adherence and GPs' attitudes.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that GPs' attitudes to risk, statin therapy or management of non-adherence are not significantly associated with their patients' adherence.

Keywords: Cholesterol/lipids; doctor-patient relationship; patient adherence; primary care; risk assessment..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Registries
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors