Patient-reported barriers to statin adherence: Excerpts from a motivational interviewing intervention in older adults

Aisha Vadhariya, Rutugandha Paranjpe, Ekere J. Essien, Michael L. Johnson, Marc L. Fleming, Tara W. Esse, Esteban Gallardo, Omar Serna, Jeannie Choi, Susan Boklage, Susan M. Abughosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Objective: Despite a known benefit in the reduction of cardiovascular risk, adherence to statins remains suboptimal. A qualitative analysis was conducted within an intervention that identified trajectories of statin adherence in patients and used motivational interviewing (MoI) to improve adherence. The objective of this qualitative study was to evaluate transcripts of an MoI telephonic intervention to identify potential, past, and current barriers to statin adherence and barriers specific to distinct adherence trajectories. Methods: The MoI intervention was customized by past 1-year adherence trajectories (rapid discontinuation, gradual decline, and gaps in adherence). Two authors independently extracted and documented barriers from phone transcripts. Themes were derived from literature a priori and by cataloging recurring themes from the transcripts. Results: The transcripts of calls made to 157 patients were reviewed of which 25.2% did not communicate a specific adherence barrier despite falling into a low-adherence trajectory when examining refill data. The most commonly reported barriers to statin adherence included adverse effects (40.1%), forgetfulness (30.0%), and lack of skills or knowledge pertaining to statins (25%). More patients in the rapid discontinuation group perceived medication as unnecessary, whereas more patients in the gaps in adherence group reported a communication barrier with their health care provider. Several barriers among patients who fell into low-adherence trajectories were reported. Some patients did not report any barriers, which may have indicated denial. MoI phone calls were useful in providing knowledge, clarifying medication regimens, and reinforcing the need to take statins. Conclusion: This study identified patient-reported barriers to statin adherence elicited during an MoI telephonic intervention conducted by student pharmacists. There were differences in barriers reported by patients from each trajectory, which emphasize the need for additional tailored interventions to improve patient adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67.e1
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


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