Factors Related to Patients' Adherence to Medication and Lifestyle Change Recommendations: Data from Canada

  •  Annabel Levesque    
  •  Han Li    
  •  Jasrit Pahal    


The purpose of this study was to investigate factors related to patients' adherence to prescribed medications and
recommended lifestyle changes. Two hundred and ninety-eight adults from a northern Canadian community
filled out a questionnaire. Several intriguing findings emerged: (a) Adherence to lifestyle changes and
participants' age presented a U-shape relationship; (b) Those who perceived themselves to be in poor health were
less likely than those in good health to adhere to lifestyle changes; (c) Barriers such as the severe winter weather,
lack of transportation, and cost of medications contributed negatively to adherence; and (d) If doctors provided
sufficient information on the benefits and use of the prescribed medications and the proposed lifestyle changes
and if patients reported trusting their doctors, they tended to adhere more. Physicians can play an important role
in promoting adherence among patients. Community health workers should make efforts in reducing barriers that
interfere with patient adherence.

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