Prevalence of and Barriers to Medication Adherence Among Patients with Uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus in Primary Healthcare Centers in Qatar: A Quantitative Analysis
The prevalence of microvascular and macrovascular complications among patients with diabetes is high. These complications are often associated with poor medication adherence and poorly controlled diabetes. The objective of this study was to determine the rate of and barriers to medication adherence among patients with uncontrolled diabetes in Qatar.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among patients with uncontrolled diabetes attending two primary healthcare clinics in Qatar from October 2016 to January 2017. An interviewer-administered questionnaire comprising three sections was utilized in the study: patients’ characteristics, Adherence to Refill and Medications Scale in Diabetes (ARMS-D), and barriers to medication adherence. ARMS-D is a validated instrument that is used to determine the level of medication adherence in patients with diabetes. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis.
Of 260 patients included in the analysis, 191 (74%) were nonadherent to their diabetes medications (ARMS-D score greater than 11). The majority of barriers to medication adherence were reported by nonadherent patients and forgetfulness was the most commonly reported barrier. Furthermore, higher levels of nonadherence were reported among patients who were younger than 65 years old and those who were illiterate.
The high rate of medication non-adherence observed among patients with uncontrolled diabetes in primary healthcare setting calls for urgent interventions. However, in-depth understanding of barriers to medication adherence often requires qualitative research approach as these barriers are very complex and multifactorial in nature.
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