Medication adherence in older adults: the contributions of cognitive functions and health belief




Feldman, Rhonda Ann

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Medication adherence in older adults involves multiple factors. Cognitive factors for successful medication adherence may include executive functioning (i.e., comprehension, self-monitoring, problem solving, and planning), memory (retrospective and prospective), and processing speed. Facilitating health beliefs may be involved, such as locus of control, self-efficacy, and risk-benefits analysis. Medication adherence was investigated in older individuals with a wide variety of illnesses. Cognitive and health belief variables were expected to significantly contribute to the prediction of medication adherence, measured by self-report questionnaires. Executive functioning was expected to be a better predictor of adherence than memory or processing speed. Ninety-five volunteers aged 65 and over individually completed a battery of tests on two occasions about one week apart. Demographic variables, including age, education, number of medications, and living status were recorded. Multiple neuropsychological measures of memory, executive functioning and processing speed were administered. Questionnaires of locus of control, general self-efficacy, and medication benefit-risk analysis were also completed. Two self-report questionnaires measured medication adherence.



Older people