Background: Evidence about the magnitude and determinants of medication intake adherence among patients and the general population in Southeastern Europe is scant.
Aims: To assess the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of medication intake adherence among adult primary health-care (PHC) users in Albania.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2018-2019 in a representative sample of 1553 adult PHC users (response: 94%) selected probabilistically from 5 major regions of Albania. There were 849 (55%) women and 704 (45%) men, with a mean age 54.6 (16.4) years. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire inquired about medication intake adherence prescribed by family physicians, and sociodemographic characteristics. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the sociodemographic correlates of medication intake adherence.
Results: Three hundred (19.8%) participants did not take the prescribed medication. In multivariable-adjusted logistic model, significant correlates of nonintake of medication included rural residence, low educational level, unemployment and low economic level. Among these 300 participants, 273 (91%) considered the high cost of the drugs as a reason for not taking the medication.
Conclusion: We found a high prevalence of nonintake of medication prescribed by family physicians. Decision-makers and policy-makers in Albania and elsewhere should consider the provision of essential drugs free of charge or at low cost to low socioeconomic groups and other vulnerable and marginalized population categories, because the costs of noncompliance will eventually be higher.
- REIMBURSEMENT POLICIES
- cost-related nonadherence
- medication adherence
- primary health care
- sociodemographic factors