Determinants of adherence to diabetes treatment

Amy T. Larkin, Christina Hoffman, Adrienne Stevens, Andrew Douglas, Zachary Bloomgarden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Understanding and improving medication adherence is crucial in diabetes management. Adherence to a diabetes regimen can improve glucose control and limit the development of complications. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the extent to which a variety of factors influence diabetes medication adherence. Methods: A medication adherence survey was made available on WebMD, a medical information website for patients and/or consumers. Respondents were residents of the US, ≥18 years old, and diagnosed with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus (self-reported). Results: Behavioral adherence (self-reported doses missed per week) correlated with perceived adherence (patients' self-report of their overall impression of medication adherence, ranked 0-5; P < 0.001). Adherent patients (very few [0%-10%] issues with adherence) were more likely to report having received information from their physician. Mostly adherent patients (few [11%-26%] issues with adherence) were less likely to obtain information from their physician, but reported more medication self-titration. Somewhat non-adherent patients (some [27%-46%] adherence issues) reported more "self-consciousness factors" and hypoglycemia. Non-adherent patients (many [47%-88%] adherence issues) were more likely to report worries about medication side effects. Conclusions: Receiving information from a healthcare provider is associated with greater diabetes medication adherence, suggesting the importance of clinicians making time to provide patient education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)864-871
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Diabetes
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Diabetes
  • Disease management
  • Education
  • Medication adherence
  • Patient


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