Validation & Feasibility Testing of a Novel Questionnaire to Identify Barriers to Medication Adherence Validation & Feasibility Testing of a Novel Questionnaire to Identify Barriers to Medication Adherence

Project Summary

Many people face barriers to taking their medication regularly.  It is estimated that between 30 and 50% of patients prescribed medication for long term conditions do not take them as prescribed.  Barriers include practical difficulties (such as getting to the pharmacy or being unable to swallow medication) and/or perceptual barriers (such as lack of motivation or negative emotions).  The result is poorer patient health, increased medication wastage, and investigations and prescribing that may otherwise have been avoided.

To provide the best support to help patients take their medication, their personal barrier(s) must firstly be identified.  Research shows that identifying the underlying barriers is challenging for patients and practitioners.  The goal of this project is to use a questionnaire developed by this research team to identify an individual’s barriers to medication adherence.  The Identification of Medication Adherence Barriers Questionnaire (IMAB-Q) has been in development for two years and is designed to support patients and practitioners to identify barriers.  This study will complete the final tests which will determine whether IMAB-Q correctly identifies the barriers a patient may be experiencing with taking their medication.  We will be focusing on patients who are taking medication to help prevent heart disease.  Heart disease affects a large proportion of the population and it is known that many patients prescribed these medicines do not take them regularly.

IMAB-Q will be tested in community pharmacies by inviting patients to complete the questionnaire.  A smaller sample of these patients will be invited to complete the questionnaire twice with a two week interval to determine whether IMAB-Q when repeated provides consistent results.  We will also ask pharmacists to use IMAB-Q in routine patient consultations (medicines use reviews) to explore whether the questionnaire works in routine practice.  Finally, we will speak to pharmacists who have been involved in the study to find out their experiences of using the IMAB-Q.

It is hoped that in a subsequent study, IMAB-Q will be used in community pharmacies to find out whether it helps pharmacists to provide appropriate support to patients to help them take their medication as prescribed.  This future study will also focus on patients at risk of heart disease.  The anticipated health benefits of improving medication adherence include lowered cholesterol and blood pressure.

Project Aims and Objectives

This study will determine if IMAB-Q is valid, reliable and suitable for identifying medication adherence barriers in routine community pharmacy practice.

Specific objectives are to investigate the following:

  1. Psychometric properties of IMAB-Q: construct and criterion validity, internal consistency reliability and test-retest reliability.
  2. Feasibility of using IMAB-Q in routine community pharmacy consultations.
  3. Community pharmacists’ perspectives on using IMAB-Q including barriers and facilitators to implementation.

Project Funding

This report is independent research funded by Pharmacy Research UK. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Pharmacy Research UK.

Further details of the project can be found on the Pharmacy Research UK website:
http://www.pharmacyresearchuk.org/our-research/our-projects/identify-barriers-medication-adherence/

The Identification of Medication Adherence Barriers Questionnaire (IMAB-Q)  

To download a copy of the questionnaire for your own purposes, please visit our questionnaire.

Project Principal Investigator

Dr Debi Bhattacharya
School of Pharmacy
University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk
NR4 7TJ

Tel: 01603 593391

Project Researcher

Tracey Brown
School of Pharmacy
University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk
NR4 7TJ

Tel: 01603 592020

Project Administrator

Frances Johnston
School of Pharmacy
University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk
NR4 7TJ

Tel: 01603 597161

Study Management Team