Background Most diabetic patients experience diabetes mellitus (DM) associated with other health impairments and multiple pathologies, leading to polypragmasy, involving a decrease in patient compliance. Non-adherence to drug therapy is an issue concerning public health systems.
Purpose To assess the degree of patient adherence to the treatment of DM and associated pathologies, and to check for factors causing a lowering in compliance.
Material and methods The study was open, consisting of an interview taken by a clinical pharmacist in a diabetes hospital, of 61 diabetic patients (SG) diagnosed with DM that presented at the consulting room within 2 weeks. Patients with mental diseases or being treated for cancer were excluded. The interview had questions with predefined answers and was structured in two parts: general anthropometric data, information about the main diabetes associated pathologies and the number of drugs administered; and patient adherence to the antidiabetic medication, focusing on the subjective factors that may hinder this therapeutic behaviour. Results were statistically interpreted.
Results The SG consisted of 59% female and 41% male patients. Different degrees of obesity were present in 30% of the SG (50% were aged <60 years, smokers represented 16% of the SG). Diabetes was most frequently accompanied by cardiovascular diseases (67%), dyslipidaemia (33%) and targeted organ impairment (7%). The antidiabetic therapy generally consisted of 1–4 drugs. The number of drugs excluding the antidiabetics varied from 1 to 14, representing from 33% to 87% of the entire medication. 19% of the diabetics with a maximum of 5 drugs and 10% of the diabetics with more than 5 drugs forgot to administer the antidiabetic medication once a week. Skipping administration was encountered in almost a fifth of patients taking fewer drugs; 9% did not take into account the precise moment of the day when medication should be administered. Almost all patients who were prescribed more than 5 drugs refused stopping the administration when they felt better or worse.
Conclusion Unlike other similar studies, this study has shown that patients with a more complex medication schedule adhere to the medication schedule more strictly than those having less drugs to administer.
No conflict of interest.
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