Medication non-adherence and uncertainty: Information-seeking and processing in the Danish LIFESTAT survey

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Abstract

Background:

Statins are widely prescribed to lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. However, statin non-adherence is very high.

Purpose:

The aim of this paper was to investigate reasons for stopping statin treatment in the general population and to study how aspects of information-seeking and processing is associated with statin non-adherence.

Methods:

This study used a population survey on 3050 Danish residents aged 45–65 years. Reasons for statin discontinuation was studied among those who were previous statin users. The association between information seeking and processing and statin discontinuation were analysed using multivariate logistical regression models.

Results:

Experience of side effects and fear of side effects played an important role in the discontinuation of statin treatment. Feelings of uncertainty and confusion regarding information on statins predicted statin discontinuation. This applied to information from both mass media and from general practitioners. There was no clear pattern of information seeking and statin non-adherence.

Conclusions:

The article point to the impact of information-seeking on the decision to take cholesterol-lowering medication. This included contributions from information disseminated by media outlets. Side effects and fear of side effects should be addressed in clinical practice. Health care professionals should pay attention to emotional aspects of how information is disseminated and perceived by statin users.

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