Adherence to antiepileptic drugs and beliefs about medication among predominantly ethnic minority patients with epilepsy
The current study examined beliefs about medication and their association with adherence to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) among predominantly ethnic minority, low-income patients with epilepsy (PWE). Seventy-two PWE completed standardized questionnaires. The Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire was used to assess perceptions about AEDs and medications in general. Adherence was measured with the Morisky 4-item scale and via participant self-rating. On the Morisky scale, 63% of patients endorsed at least one item for nonadherence; forgetfulness was most often endorsed (50%). There was a significant relationship between seizure frequency and adherence (Morisky: r=0.33, P=0.006; self-rating: r=−0.35, P=0.003). Patients with lower self-rated adherence expressed greater concerns about AEDs (r=−0.25, P=0.036) and beliefs that medications, in general, may be intrinsically harmful (r=−0.26, P=0.032) and minimally beneficial (r=0.36; P<0.002), as compared with more adherent patients. These findings inform future educational interventions in this population of PWE.