Background Secondary prevention pharmacotherapy improves outcomes after acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, poor medication adherence is common, and various factors play a role in adherence. Objectives The purpose of this study was to evaluate patients’ level of adherence to evidence-based therapies at an average of 6 months after discharge for ACS and to identify factors associated with self-reported non-adherence. Setting This prospective study was conducted in the outpatient cardiac clinics of Hospital Pulau Pinang, located in Penang Island, a northern state in Malaysia. Method A random sample of ACS patients (n = 190) who had been discharged on a regimen of secondary preventive medications were included in this study. Six months after discharge and during their scheduled follow-up appointments to cardiac clinics, patients were interviewed using the translated eight-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale. Main outcome measure self-reported patients’ adherence to medication. Results Six months following their hospital discharge, only 35 patients (18.4 %) reported high adherence. Medium adherence was reported in majority of patients (51.1 %). Low adherence was reported in 58 patients (30.5 %). Forgetfulness was the most frequently reported reason for patients’ non-adherence to their medications (23.2 %). Furthermore, this study identified 5 factors—namely age, employment status, ACS subtypes, number of comorbidities, and number of prescription medications per day—that may influence Patients’ level of adherence to the prescribed regimens. Conclusions Our findings revealed a problem of non-adherence to secondary prevention medications among patients with ACS in Malaysia. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that older patients, unemployed patients, patients with more comorbid conditions, and those receiving multiple medications are less likely to adhere to their prescribed medications 6 months after hospital discharge.
Adherence Acute coronary syndrome Morisky scale Malaysia Secondary prevention medications
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Special thanks to the staff of Hospital Pulau Pinang cardiology and pharmacy department for their support. This work formed part of a research project submitted as a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in clinical pharmacy, Universiti Sains Malaysia, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Funding for this project was provided by the Universiti Sains Malaysia Postgraduate research grant number (1001/PFARMASI/844055).
Conflicts of interest
None of the authors have any conflicts of interest.
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