Perspectives of patients on factors relating to adherence to post-acute coronary syndrome medical regimens.



Poor adherence to cardioprotective medications after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) hospitalization is associated with increased risk of rehospitalization and mortality. Clinical trials of multifaceted interventions have improved medication adherence with varying results. Patients' perspectives on interventions could help researchers interpret inconsistent outcomes. Identifying factors that patients believe would improve adherence might inform the design of future interventions and make them more parsimonious and sustainable. The objective of this study was to obtain patients' perspectives on adherence to medical regimens after experiencing an ACS event and their participation in a medication adherence randomized control trial following their hospitalization.

Patients and methods

Sixty-four in-depth interviews were conducted with ACS patients who participated in an efficacious, multifaceted, medication adherence randomized control trial. Interview transcripts were analyzed using the constant comparative approach.


Participants described their post-ACS event experiences and how they affected their adherence behaviors. Patients reported that adherence decisions were facilitated by mutually respectful and collaborative provider-patient treatment planning. Frequent interactions with providers and medication refill reminder calls supported improved adherence. Additional facilitators included having social support, adherence routines, and positive attitudes toward an ACS event. The majority of patients expressed that being active participants in health care decision-making contributed to their health.


Our findings demonstrate that respectful collaborative communication can contribute to medication adherence after ACS hospitalization. These results suggest a potential role for training health-care providers, including pharmacists, social workers, registered nurses, etc, to elicit and acknowledge the patients' views regarding medication treatment in order to improve adherence. Future research is needed with providers to understand how they elicit and acknowledge patients' views, particularly in the face of nonadherence, and with patients to understand how to empower them to share their opinions with their providers.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Lambert-Kerzner, Anne, Edward P Havranek, Mary E Plomondon, Katherine M Fagan, Marina S McCreight, Kelty B Fehling, David J Williams, Alison B Hamilton, et al. (2015). Perspectives of patients on factors relating to adherence to post-acute coronary syndrome medical regimens. Patient preference and adherence, 9. pp. 1053–1059. 10.2147/ppa.s84546 Retrieved from

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