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Published: 2016-09-10

Patient adherence to antihypertensive therapy and its individual psychological factors

Bogomolets National Medical University
Bogomolets National Medical University
compliance individual-psychological factors arterial hypertension type of subjective control intensity of attitude to health personality type


Background. In the treatment of chronic, especially asymptomatic pathology one of the main problem is the adherence to therapy. Patients with arterial hypertension need long-term, often lifelong medication, and how strictly they adhere to prescriptions often determines the course of the disease and the medical measures effectiveness. According to statistics, more than half of patients with hypertension are characterized by low compliance, which leads to complications of this disease. The objective of the research is to identify and analize the individual psychological factors that determine patient adherence to antihypertensive therapy.

Methods and materials. This study was conducted during 2011-2013 at the cardiology departments of the Kyiv Alexander Hospital, polyclinics number 2 Shevchenko district in Kyiv, Desnyanskiy clinic №3 district in Kyiv, medical center "Adonis plus". We examined 203 patients with arterial hypertension (average age 53,5 ± 4,5 years). Methods: socio-demographic, clinical, clinical and psychological, psychodiagnostical, mathematical and statistical methods. Psychodiagnostical method included: 8-item Morisky medical adherence scale (Morisky D. E., 2008); self-assessment anxiety scale Charles D. Spielberger – Y.L Hanin (A.V. Batarshev, 2005); the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory questionnaire (MMRI) (F.B. Berezin, 1994); "The level of subjective control" (A.A. Rean, 2001); "Index of attitudes to health" (S.D. Deryabo, VA Yasvin, 2000).

Results. According to the results of 8-item Morisky medical adherence scale patients were divided into 3 groups according to the level of compliance - with high (26.11%), average (24.14%) and low (49.75%) levels of adherence to antihypertensive therapy. The individual-psychological predictors of poor adherence to antihypertensive therapy include the following personal characteristics of patients: a low level of intensity of attitude to health, internal type of subjective control, a low endurance to stress, strain of defense mechanisms, emotional instability and self-esteem, impulsivity, nonconformnism, tendency to independence, stability of attitudes, commitment to relying on their own experience, conflict behavior, rigidity, self-centeredness, introversion, the need for updating their own individuality, lack of deepening into serious problems. Designed psychocorrective program, aimed at transformation of lifestyle of patients and formation of a conscious aspiring to health, showed high efficacy.

Conclusions. Adherence to antihypertensive therapy in patients with arterial hypertension depends on such individual psychological factors as personality characteristics, type of subjective control, anxiety level and the level of intensity of attitudes to health, that should also be considered during treatment of hypertension to predict the level of compliance. It is reasonable to involve medical psychologists in counseling and correction of patients with hypertension in cardiology departments and clinics to diagnose personality compliance factors, intensity of attitude to health, identifying patients at risk of low adherence to antihypertensive therapy and, if necessary, adjust the level of compliance.

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Full-text of the article is available for this locale: Українська.


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