Predictors of Medication Adherence in the Elderly: The Role of Mental Health

Jo E. Rodgers, Emily M. Thudium, Hadi Beyhaghi, Carla A. Sueta, Khalid A. Alburikan, Anna M. Kucharska-Newton, Patricia P. Chang, Sally C. Stearns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The aging population routinely has comorbid conditions requiring complicated medication regimens, yet nonadherence can preclude optimal outcomes. This study explored the association of adherence in the elderly with demographic, socioeconomic, and disease burden measures. Data were from the fifth visit (2011-2013) for 6,538 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, conducted in four communities. The Morisky–Green–Levine Scale measured self-reported adherence. Forty percent of respondents indicated some nonadherence, primarily due to poor memory. Logit regression showed, surprisingly, that persons with low reading ability were more likely to report being adherent. Better self-reported physical or mental health both predicted better adherence, but the magnitude of the association was greater for mental than for physical health. Compared with persons with normal or severely impaired cognition, mild cognitive impairment was associated with lower adherence. Attention to mental health measures in clinical settings could provide opportunities for improving medication adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-761
Number of pages16
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study is carried out as a collaborative study supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute contracts (HHSN268201100005C, HHSN268201100006C, HHSN268201100007C, HHSN268 201100008C, HHSN268201100009C, HHSN268201100010C, HHSN268201100011C, and HHSN268201100012C).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • aging
  • cognitive impairment
  • medication adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of Medication Adherence in the Elderly: The Role of Mental Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this