Evaluation of medication adherence among Lebanese diabetic patients

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Background: Diabetes type 2 is considered one of the main public health concerns. Lack of adherence to treatment leads to poor therapeutic outcome, poor glycemic control, and high risk for developing diabetes complications.

Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate adherence to oral antidiabetic medication in Diabetes type 2 Lebanese patients, and to evaluate factors leading to low adherence.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in outpatients endocrinology clinics of two hospitals and four private clinics located in Beirut-Lebanon. Data was collected using a well-structured questionnaire by trained pharmacists. Adherence level was measured by the Lebanese Medication Adherence Scale (LMAS-14). Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using SPSS version 20.

Results: Overall, 245 patients were included in the study with the majority being females (54.3%) and obese (47.8%). Only 29% of the participants had controlled glycemia (HbA1c <7%) with 31.8% of subjects had high adherence to their medication compared to 68.2% with low adherence. Increased working hours/day was associated with a decrease in adherence to oral antidiabetic medication (OR=0.31; 95% CI 0.11:0.88; p=0.029). Other factors significantly associated with decreased adherence to treatment were forgetfulness, high drug costs, complex treatment regimens, experiencing side effects, and perception of treatment inefficacy. Postponing physician office visits also decreased the probability of being adherent to oral antidiabetic medication (OR=0.36; 95% CI 0.15:0.86; p=0.022). Skipping or doubling the dose in case of hypo/hyperglycemia and the sensation of treatment burden also decreased medication adherence (OR=0.09; 95% CI 0.02:0.34; p=0.001, and OR=0.04; 95% CI 0.01:0.13; p<0.001 respectively).

Conclusions: Adherence to oral antidiabetic medication is low for Lebanese patients, which leads to a poor glycemic control and increases the diabetes complications. Intervention programs including patient education strategies are essential to improve medication adherence.


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