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Dr. More Patil Vidita*, Dr. More Patil Vrunda, Dr. Yadav Pramila and Dr. Deolekar Pradnya


Background: World Health Organization estimates at least 170 million individuals suffer from diabetes globally and this figure is likely to double by 2030. Diabetes related complications are major causes of morbidity and mortality.[1] Medication adherence is an integral aspect of disease state management for patients with chronic illnesses, including diabetes mellitus. It has been hypothesized that patients with diabetes who have poor medication adherence may have less knowledge of overall therapeutic goals and may be less likely to attain these goals.[2] Objective: To determine medication adherence and knowledge of disease in a community cohort of diabetic patients on medication and to test the hypothesis of adherence based on disease knowledge. Research Design and Methods: A total of 100 randomly selected patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes from tertiary health center were surveyed with a modified Morisky questionnaire to assess their medical adherence and knowledge of diabetes. Survey data was manually entered and analyzed in MS Excel. Self-reported adherence rates were assessed for each: diabetes-related medicine, barriers and attitudes regarding medication use and knowledge of HbA1c, total cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Results: Out of 100 randomly surveyed diabetic patients, 58% were categorized with Poor disease knowledge, 26% with Average disease knowledge and 8% with Good Disease knowledge. Among patients on three or more medicines regardless of disease knowledge, 92% were well adherent with their diabetic medicine. Medical adherence was Poor in 8% patients, Average in 26% patients and Good in 66% patients. 7 out of 8 Patients with poor adherence had poor disease knowledge score. Conclusions: In this sample, patients reported very high medication adherence rates regardless of number of medicines prescribed or disease knowledge. Among patients on multiple medicines, most patients with suboptimal adherence were perfectly adherent to all diabetes medicine. It can be concluded that physicians should not feel deterred from prescribing multiple agents in order to achieve adequate control of hyperglycemia, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Lack of disease knowledge could be included as one of the many contributing factors to poor medical adherence.

Keywords: Self-medication, diabetes, adherence.

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