Patient Experience With Care and Its Association With Adherence to Hypertension Medications

Published in: American Journal of Hypertension [Epub December 2017]. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpx200

Posted on on January 16, 2018

by Robert J. Fortuna, Angela K. Nagel, Thomas A. Rocco, Sharon Legette-Sobers, Denise D. Quigley

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Medication adherence is crucial to effective chronic disease management, yet little is known about the influence of the patient-provider interaction on medication adherence to hypertensive regimens. We aimed to examine the association between the patient's experience with care and medication adherence.


We collected 2,128 surveys over 4 years from a convenience sample of hypertensive patients seeking care at three urban safety-net practices in upstate New York. The survey collected adherence measures using the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8) and patient experience measures. We used regression models to adjust for age, gender, race/ethnicity, self-reported health status, and clustering by patients. The primary outcome was reporting of medium-to-high adherence (MMAS [greater than or equal to] 6) vs. low adherence.


A total of 62.5% of respondents reported medium-to-high medication adherence. The concern the provider demonstrated for patient questions or worries (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-1.7), provider efforts to include the patient in decisions (AOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.8-1.9), information given (AOR 1.3; 95% CI 1.0-1.6), and the overall rating of care received (AOR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1-1.8) were associated with higher medication adherence. The amount of time the provider spent was not associated with medication adherence (AOR 1.2; 95% CI 0.9-1.4). Medium-to-high medication adherence was in turn associated with increased hypertension control rates.


Overall, better experiences with care were associated with higher adherence to hypertension regimens. However, the amount of time the provider spent with the patient was not statistically associated with medication adherence, suggesting that the quality of communication may be more important than the absolute quantity of time.

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