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Understanding statin non-adherence: knowing which perceptions and experiences matter to different patients.

Wouters, H., Dijk, L. van, Geers, H.C.J., Winters, N.A., Geffen, E.C.G. van, Stiggelbout, A.M., Bouvy, M.L. Understanding statin non-adherence: knowing which perceptions and experiences matter to different patients. PLoS One: 2016, 11(1), p. e0146272.
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Non-adherence to statins is substantial and is associated with numerous perceptions and experiences. However, time limits in clinical practice constrain in depth explorations of these perceptions and experiences.

To propose and examine a strategy aimed at an efficient assessment of a wide array of perceptions and experiences regarding the efficacy, side effects, and practical problems of statins. Furthermore, to assess associations between this wide array of experiences and perceptions and non-adherence and to examine whether patients' 'perceived self-efficacy' moderated these associations.

Patients were recruited through community pharmacies. A wide array of specific patient perceptions and experiences was efficiently assessed using the electronic Tailored Medicine Inventory that allows people to skip irrelevant questions. Adherence was measured through self-report and pharmacy refill data.

Of the two-hundred twenty-nine patients who participated (mean age 63.9, standard deviation 10.2), 40%-70% doubted the necessity of or lacked knowledge about the efficacy of statins, 20%-35% of the patients were worried about joint and muscle side effects or had experienced these, and 23% had encountered practical problems regarding information about statins, intake of tablets, the package, or the blister. Experiencing more practical problems was associated with increased unintentional non-adherence (Odds ratio 1.54, 95%CI:1.13–2.10, P < 0.01), whereas worrying about side effects was associated with increased intentional non-adherence (Odds ratio 1.90, 95%CI:1.17–3.08, P < 0.01). Higher 'perceived self-efficacy' did not moderate these associations.

Insight into patients' specific barriers with regard to appropriate statin use may reveal personal reasons for being non-adherent. The Tailored Medicine Inventory is a promising tool to devise individualized intervention strategies aimed at improving adherence by the clinician-patient alliance. (aut. ref.)