Understanding Osteopathic Physician Beliefs & Attitudes Toward Medication Adherence in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus
Aim: Develop a greater understanding of healthcare providers’ beliefs on patients’ medication adherence with an emphasis on the factors clinicians perceive being the most contributory toward non-adherence in type 1 (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes patients (T2DM).
Methods: A 40-item survey was sent to osteopathic family physicians exploring beliefs pertaining to medication adherence, including most important factors that felt to be the most influential to non-adherence. Each of these factors was classified into different categories as proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine the level of attribution and significance.
Results: A total of 183 osteopathic family physicians completed the survey. The physicians perceived that the mean patient adherences were 81.7% for oral anti-diabetic medications (e.g. metformin) and 72.4% for insulin. The physicians rated social and economic factors as the most impactful factors (e.g. high cost of healthcare and medication as well as poor socioeconomic status) contributing to non-adherence and condition-related factors as the least influential. Overall, physicians also rated patient-related factors as more significant than physician or healthcare team-related factors.
Conclusions: Physicians generally believe medication adherence is high in their patients. Interventions to improve medication adherence and overall glycemic control may be effective at the provider level by educating them of their impact, which may include conversations of hypoglycemia, depression, and overall importance of the provider-patient relationship that may play a more significant role than previously believed.