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Social support and medication adherence among the elderly with select chronic diseases at a Taluk hospital in Anekal

Author: 
Merlyn Joseph, Sulekha, T., Bhavana, P. and Tina James
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Medication non-adherence is common among elderly suffering from chronic diseases. This in turn leads to unwelcome health, social and economic consequences. (Marengoni et al., 2008; Balkrishnan, 1998; Hughes, 2004) One reason for non-adherence to medication could be poor social support. Social support is critical for those elderly who rely on family, friends, or organizations to assist them with daily activities, provide companionship, and care for their well-being. (Wu et al., 2008) Greater social support has been shown to be associated with improved health outcomes and healthier behaviour. (Wu et al., 2008; Stroebe, 2000) Objectives: To study the association between social support and medication adherence, and the risk factors for medication non- adherence among elderly (>60years) suffering from select chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoarthritis and COPD who seek care at the Taluk Hospital at Anekal. Methodology: A cross sectional study was conducted with the study population being elderly aged >60 years with select chronic disease who seek care at asecondary level of care hospital at Anekal. Data was collected using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire and standard tools namely the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and Morisky’s Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS). Consecutive method of sampling was used. The estimated sample size was 138. Results: Of the 138 elderly subjects, 64(46%) were males, 74(54%) were females. 74 (54%) elderly reported low social support and poor medication adherence was seen among 38(27%) of the elderly. Practical social support (p<0.05) and physical activity of <2 times a week (p≤0.05) were significantly associated with good medication adherence. Conclusion: Active involvement of family members in healthcare of elderly people would greatly improve medication adherence.

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