Date of Conferral
Patient nonadherence to physicians' prescribed therapeutic regimen is the greatest challenge in the effective treatment of patients with diabetes worldwide. Scientific evidence has revealed that nonadherence to prescribed medication could result in diabetic complications such as cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers. The purpose of this study was to explore predictive relationships between levels of adherence to antidiabetic medications, patient HbA1c levels, and diabetic complications among Jamaicans, an understudied population. The research question that guided this study was: Do the patient level of adherence and HbA1c levels have any predictive relationship with the severity of diabetic complications (cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathic foot ulcer) among Jamaicans after controlling for age and gender? The theory of planned behavior was used to guide the study. Data regarding diabetic complications were collected from 119 records during a cross-sectional review of patient dockets. Level of adherence was determined from an interviewer-administered Morisky 8-item adherence scale. A multiple regression analysis revealed that lower levels of patient adherence to treatment and higher HbA1c levels predicted greater severity of cardiovascular disease (p = .000; p = .000), retinopathy (p = .009; p =.090), nephropathy (p =.007; p =.001) and diabetic neuropathic foot ulcers (p =.027; p =.001). Findings from this study will contribute to the knowledge base on diabetic medication nonadherence and may encourage health care professionals to advocate for better medication adherence strategies among people with diabetes.