Patient related factors affecting adherence to antimalarial medication in an urban estate in Ghana.
Amponsah, Alexandria O.
Marfo, Afia F. A.
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AMPONSAH, A. O., VOSPER, H. and MARFO, A. F. A., 2015. Patient related factors affecting adherence to antimalarial medication in an urban estate in Ghana. Malaria Research and Treatment, 2015, Article ID 452539.
Our aim was to measure the adherence to Artemisinin based Combination Therapy and to determine patient related factors that affect adherence. Three hundred (300) patients receiving ACT treatment dispensed from the community pharmacy were randomly selected and followed up on the fourth day after the start of their three-day therapy to assess adherence. Adherence was measured by pill count. Quantitative interviews using a semistructured questionnaire were used to assess patients’ knowledge and beliefs on malaria and its treatment. Adherence levels to the ACTs were 57.3%. Patient related factors that affected adherence to ACTs were patients’ knowledge on the dosage (𝑃 = 0.007; V = 0.457), efficacy (𝑃 = 0.009; V = 0.377), and side effects (𝑃 = 0.000; V = 0.403) of the ACTs used for the management of malaria, patients’ awareness of the consequences of not completing the doses of antimalarial dispensed (𝑃 = 0.001; V = 0.309), and patients’ belief that “natural remedies are safer than medicines” and “prescribers place too much trust in medicines.” There was no significant relationship between adherence and patients’ knowledge on the causes, signs, and symptoms of malaria. There is the need for pharmacy staff to stress on these variables when counseling patients on antimalarials as these affect adherence levels.