European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 307–314 | Cite as

Factors associated with adherence to drug therapy: a population-based study

  • Annika Bardel
  • Mari-Ann Wallander
  • Kurt Svärdsudd
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription



To investigate adherence to prescription in a female population aged 35–65 years.


Postal questionnaire study of 2991 randomly sampled 35- to 64-year-old women in seven provinces of central Sweden.


The study was performed in 1995 as a cross-sectional postal questionnaire study in seven counties in central Sweden. The questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 4200 women between the ages of 35 and 64, of whom 2991 (71.2%) responded. The questionnaire asked about drugs prescribed during the past year and about factors potentially affecting adherence.


The same women had different degrees of adherence to different medications. A large number of factors were associated with adherence. Multivariate analysis revealed that age, scheduled check-up, perceived importance of medication, concerns about medication safety and taking medication for a respiratory or a cardiovascular disease were significantly related to adherence. Adherence ranged from 15–98% depending on these factors, and was the lowest among young women who regarded their medication as unimportant and who had no scheduled check-up; the highest reported adherence was found among elderly women who regarded their medication as important and who had a scheduled check-up.


Factors that were associated with the perceived importance of medication had a positive effect on adherence, while concerns about medication safety had a negative effect.


Adherence Communication skills Epidemiology Prescription Women 



This study was supported by grants from The Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences and Allergy Research, from the Epidemiology Department of AstraZeneca R&D Mölndal and from Uppsala University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annika Bardel
    • 1
  • Mari-Ann Wallander
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kurt Svärdsudd
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology SectionDepartment of Public Health and Caring SciencesUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyAstraZeneca R&D MölndalMölndalSweden

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