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A psychosocial perspective in the explanation of patients' drug-taking behavior

  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


The goal of this study was to examine the applicability of the Health Belief (HBM) and Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) models in predicting drug-taking compliance behavior among female patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infections. Thirty-eight percent of the respondents were compliant, 25% finished all of their medication, but missed one or more doses during the course of therapy, and 37% did not finish all of their medication as directed. Two HBM and three TRA variables had a statistically significant relationship with compliance: barriers and benefits (HBM) and belief strength, outcome evaluation, and behavioral intention (TRA). HBM variables explained 10% of the variance in the compliance variable. Adding the TRA variables to the model explained an additional 19% of the variance. Social influence variables (normative expectations, motivation to comply, and subjective norms) had a significant influence in the prediction of behavioral intention, but not in the prediction of compliance behavior. Suggestions for improving compliance based on these findings include: simplification of drug therapy by customizing and simplifying the regimen, continued patient reminders of the therapy's value, and benchmarks for patients to evaluate the success or failure of therapy. A frank and open discussion from the start of therapy about its complexity, the medication's side effects, time and fiscal constraints, and other factors which may modify patients' perception of the likelihood of compliance is an important key to improving patients' compliance behavior.

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