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Keywords:

  • Chronic Pain;
  • Elderly;
  • Therapy;
  • Adherence

Abstract

Background

Medication nonadherence is a frequent problem in the treatment of chronic conditions.

Objective

To study the adherence to pharmacological treatment of chronic nonmalignant pain, as well as factors and patient attitudes related to nonadherence in patients aged ≥65 years.

Methods

The cross-sectional study was conducted with a self-administered questionnaire among 100 patients aged ≥65 years by five family physicians at the Health Care Centre Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Results

According to their own statements, 57% of the patients were nonadherent, while 84% exhibited some form of nonadherence on the Morisky scale. The patients reported a mean pain intensity of 6.6 ± 2.2 on a visual analog scale. The most common deviation from the prescribed therapy was self-adjustment of the dose and medical regimen based on the severity of pain. Polymedication correlated positively with nonadherence. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were the most frequently prescribed medications. The majority of the participants (59%) believed that higher pain intensity indicates progression of the disease, and half of the participants believed that one can easily become addicted to pain medications. Nonadherence was associated with patient attitudes about addiction to analgesics and ability of analgesics to control pain.

Conclusion.

High pain intensity and nonadherence found in this study suggest that physicians should monitor older patients with chronic nonmalignant pain more closely and pay more attention to patients' beliefs regarding analgesics to ensure better adherence to pharmacological therapy.