Predicting Adherence to Medications Using Health Psychology Theories- A Systematic Review of 20 Years of Empirical Research

Dec 1, 2014, 00:00 AM
Section Title : Systematic Reviews
Section Order : 13
First Page : 863


This review sought to identify the empirical evidence for the application of models from sociocognitive theory, self-regulation theory, and social support theory at predicting patient adherence to medications.


A systematic review of the published literature (1990–2010) using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and PsychINFO identified studies examining the application of health psychology theory to adherence to medication in adult patients. Two independent reviewers extracted data on medication, indication, study population, adherence measure, theory, model, survey instruments, and results. Heterogeneity in theoretical model specification and empirical investigation precluded a meta-analysis of data.


Of 1756 unique records, 67 articles were included (sociocognitive = 35, self-regulation = 21, social support = 11). Adherence was most commonly measured by self-report (50 of 67). Synthesis of studies highlighted the significance (P ≤ 0.05) of self-efficacy (17 of 19), perceived barriers (11 of 17), perceived susceptibility (3 of 6), necessity beliefs (8 of 9), and medication concerns (7 of 8).


The results of this review provide a foundation for the development of theory-led adherence-enhancing interventions that could promote sustainable behavior change in clinical practice.
HEOR Topics :
  • Clinical Outcomes
  • Comparative Effectiveness or Efficacy
  • Diabetes/Endocrine/Metabolic Disorders
  • Specific Diseases & Conditions
Tags :
  • adherence
  • health psychology
  • medications
  • systematic review
Regions :
  • North America