Medications adherence and associated factors among patients with stroke in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Stoke, Adherence, Self-care activities, KSA


Background: Stroke is one of the most significant neurological problems around the world, and is considered a leading cause of death. Due to polypharmacy and multimorbidity, stroke patients are susceptible to have lower levels of adherence to their medications and self-care activities. Methods: Patients who have suffered a stroke and had recently been admitted to public hospital were approached for recruitment. Patients’ adherence to their medications was examined using a validated questionnaire during an interview between the principal investigator and the patients, where patients’ adherence to their selfcare activities was assessed using a developed, validated and previously published questionnaire as well. Reasons for lack of adherence was explored from the patients. Verification of patient’s details and medications was done via the patient’s hospital file. Results: The mean age of the participants (n=173) was 53.21 (SD= 8.61) years. Assessing patients’ adherence to medications showed that more than half of them stated that they sometimes/often forgot to take their medication/s, while 41.0% sometimes/often stopped their medication/s from time to time. The mean adherence to medications score (out of 28) was 18.39 (SD=2.1), with 83.8% having a low adherence level. It is found that patients who did not take their medications were due to forgetfulness (46.8%) and complications from taking the medications (20.2%). Better adherence was associated with higher educational level, higher number of medical conditions, and higher frequency of glucose monitoring. Adherence to self-care activities showed that majority of patients performed correct self-care activities three times a week. Conclusion: Post-stroke patients in Saudi Arabia have indicated low levels of medication adherence, while reporting good adherence to their self-care activities. Better adherence was associated with certain patient characteristics such as higher educational level. These findings can help in focusing the efforts to improve adherence and health outcomes for stroke patients in the future.


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