Strategies to Improve Adherence to Anti-Hypertensive Medications: a Narrative Review

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2020 Nov 9;22(12):105. doi: 10.1007/s11906-020-01115-4.


Purpose of review: Medication adherence is critical for effective management of hypertension, yet half of patients with hypertension are non-adherent to medications. In this review, we describe and critically evaluate medication adherence interventions published in the past 3 years for patients with hypertension.

Recent findings: We identified 1593 articles and 163 underwent full review, of which 42 studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies were classified into eight categories: simplification of medication regimen (e.g., fixed dose combination pills); electronic Health (eHealth) tools (e.g., text messaging reminders); behavioral counseling (e.g., motivational interviewing); healthcare system changes (e.g., patient-centered medical home); patient education; multicomponent chronic disease management program; home blood pressure monitoring; and financial incentives. Studies utilizing strategies to simplify medication regimens, eHealth tools, patient education, and behavioral counseling were most likely to report positive findings. Interventions targeting patient behavior were more likely to be associated with improvements in medication adherence compared to those targeting providers or the healthcare system. eHealth tools show promise for augmenting behavioral interventions. A major limitation of included trials was short study duration and use of self-report measures of medication adherence. Future research should explore how complex interventions that utilize a combination of evidence-based strategies and target multiple adherence behaviors (e.g., both day-to-day medication taking and long-term persistence) may be efficacious in improving medication adherence.

Keywords: Hypertension; Intervention; Medication adherence; Review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Medication Adherence


  • Antihypertensive Agents