This study aimed at studying the prevalence of noncompliance among diabetic patients in Gharbia governorate in Egypt as well its causes, its effect on glycemic control, and factors affecting it.
There is growing evidence suggesting that because of the alarmingly low rates of compliance, increasing the effectiveness of compliance interventions may have a great impact on the health of the population. Promotion of therapeutic compliance is considered an integral component of patient care. It has been shown that despite effective methods of treatment, many diabetic patients fail to achieve satisfactory glycemic control, which leads to accelerated development of complications and increased mortality.
A total of 339 diabetic patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were recruited in the present study. Compliance to treatment was evaluated during patients’ visits to health units in Gharbia governorate. Medication compliance was assessed during a personal interview with each patient using a multiple-choice questionnaire. Blood samples were obtained for measurement of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).
In the study population, the compliance rates were observed to be suboptimal. The most important social factors that significantly affected compliance rates included age, income, and educational level. Among the factors that significantly affected compliance rates were duration of treatment, presence of diseases other than diabetes, and the number of prescribed drugs. Another factor that played an important role was diabetes care costs. The most common reasons for low rates of compliance were forgetfulness and high cost of treatment.
An improvement in the compliance level may be achieved through improvement of patients’ economic levels as well as reduction in the cost of medication. The number of drugs and doses should be reduced as much as possible through continuous research involving doctors and pharmaceutical companies.