Understanding barriers to optimal medication management for those requiring long-term dialysis: Rationale and design for an observational study, and a quantitative description of study variables and data

Trudi Aspden, Martin J. Wolley, Tian M. Ma, Edwin Rajah, Samantha Curd, Dharni Kumar, Sophia Lee, Krenare Pireva, Olita Taule'alo, Porsche Tiavale, Angela L. Kam, Jun S. Suh, Julia Kennedy, Mark R. Marshall

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Background: Rates of medication non-adherence in dialysis patients are high, and improving adherence is likely to improve outcomes. Few data are available regarding factors associated with medication adherence in dialysis patients, and these data are needed to inform effective intervention strategies. Methods/design: This is an observational cross-sectional study of a multi-ethnic dialysis cohort from New Zealand, with the main data collection tool being an interviewer-assisted survey. A total of 100 participants were randomly sampled from a single centre, with selection stratified by ethnicity and dialysis modality (facility versus home). The main outcome measure is self-reported medication adherence using the Morisky 8-Item Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8). Study data include demographic, clinical, social and psychometric characteristics, the latter being constructs of health literacy, medication knowledge, beliefs about medications, and illness perceptions. Psychometric constructs were assessed through the following survey instruments; health literacy screening questions, the Medication Knowledge Evaluation Tool (Okuyan et al.), the Beliefs about Medication Questionnaire (Horne et al.), the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (Broadbent et al.). Using the study data, reliability analysis for internal consistency is satisfactory for the scales evaluating health literacy, medication knowledge, and beliefs about medications, with Chronbach's α > 0.7 for all. Reliability analysis indicated poor internal consistency for scales relating to illness perceptions. MMAS-8 and all psychometric scores are normally distributed in the study data. Discussion: This study will provide important information on the factors involved in medication non-adherence in New Zealand dialysis patients. The resulting knowledge will inform long-term initiatives to reduce medication non-adherence in dialysis patients, and help ensure that they are addressing appropriate and evidence based targets for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 11 2015



  • Beliefs about medications
  • Dialysis
  • Health literacy
  • Illness perception
  • Medication adherence
  • Medication knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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