Predictors of medication noncompliance in a sample of older adults

Clin Ther. 1994 Jan-Feb;16(1):110-7.


The subjects were 1028 respondents from a randomly selected sample of independently living adults aged 55 years and older in the southeastern United States. Data on background characteristics, physical health, life satisfaction, psychological distress, and medication compliance were gathered from structured interviews. Among the 785 subjects in the analysis who were taking prescribed medications, 75% were women, 83% were white, their median income was $12,500 annually, 66% lived alone, their mean age was 73.9 years, and their mean number of years of education was 11.4. Twenty-one percent of all respondents taking medications had been noncompliant during the month preceding the study interview. Noncompliance with prescribed medications was significantly associated with higher socioeconomic status (P < 0.01), greater number of prescribed medications (P < 0.01), and higher psychological stress (P < 0.05). There was no relationship between compliance and living arrangements, health, life satisfaction, number of illnesses, age, or sex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance* / psychology
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Treatment Refusal*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations