Citation Thomson P, Rushworth GF, Andreis F, Angus NJ, Mohan AR & Leslie SJ (2020) Longitudinal study of the relationship between patients' medication adherence and quality of life outcomes and illness perceptions and beliefs about cardiac rehabilitation. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 20 (1), Art. No.: 71. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12872-020-01378-4
Adherence to medication regimens is essential for preventing and reducing adverse outcomes among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Greater understanding of the relation between negative illness perceptions, beliefs about cardiac rehabilitation (CR) and medication adherence may help inform future approaches to improving medication adherence and quality of life (QoL) outcomes. The aims of the study are: 1) to compare changes in illness perceptions, beliefs about CR, medication adherence and QoL on entry to a CR programme and 6 months later; 2) to examine associations between patients’ illness perceptions and beliefs about CR at baseline and medication adherence and QoL at 6 months.
A longitudinal study of 40 patients with CAD recruited from one CR service in Scotland. Patients completed the Medication Adherence Report Scale, Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire, Beliefs about CR questionnaire and the Short-Form 12 Health Survey. Data were analysed using the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test, Pearson Product Moment correlation and Bayesian multiple logistic regression.
Most patients were men (70%), aged 62.3 mean (SD 7.84) years. Small improvements in ‘perceived suitability’ of CR at baseline increased the odds of being fully adherent to medication by approximately 60% at 6 months. Being fully adherent at baseline increased the odds of staying so at 6 months by 13.5 times. ‘Perceived necessity, concerns for exercise and practical barriers’ were negatively associated with reductions in the probability of full medication adherence of 50, 10, and 50%. Small increases in concerns about exercise decreased the odds of better physical health at 6 months by about 50%; and increases in practical barriers decreased the odds of better physical health by about 60%. Patients perceived fewer consequences of their cardiac disease at 6 months.
Patients’ beliefs on entry to a CR programme are especially important to medication adherence at 6 months. Negative beliefs about CR should be identified early in CR to counteract any negative effects on QoL. Interventions to improve medication adherence and QoL outcomes should focus on improving patients’ negative beliefs about CR and increasing understanding of the role of medication adherence in preventing a future cardiac event.
Keywords Cardiac rehabilitation; Beliefs; Illness perceptions; Medication adherence; Quality of life