Beliefs of chronically ill Japanese patients that lead to intentional non-adherence to medication

Naomi Iihara, T. Tsukamoto, S. Morita, C. Miyoshi, K. Takabatake, Yuji Kurosaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify factors, associated with personal beliefs, involved in intentional non-adherence to prescribed medication of Japanese patients with chronic diseases. Methods: A cross-sectional study of Japanese subjects with chronic, primarily liver, gastrointestinal, or nervous system diseases who had been prescribed oral medicines for regular use, was performed. The subjects were admitted to a university hospital and were interviewed face-to-face on admission. Intentional non-adherence was defined as experience of deliberate adjustment of self-managed prescription medicines during the few months prior to hospital admission. Patients' beliefs about taking medicines were assessed from the perspective of what the patient valued in order to take medicines without anxiety; whether the patient valued information about the medication such as its function and side-effects and/or mutual reliance on doctors. Using logistic multivariate regression analyses, factors associated with intentional non-adherence were identified. Results: Among 154 subjects, 51 showed intentional non-adherence. Intentional non-adherence was associated with the following three factors: (a) the patients' beliefs with respect to taking medicines without anxiety, especially putting no value on mutual reliance on the patient-doctor relationship (P < 0.001) and putting great value on knowing the drug's side-effects (P < 0.001), (b) poor comprehension of general aspects of medication (P for trend <0.001), and (c) being in the prime of life (40-59 years) (P = 0.011). Comprehension of the function of each medicine, experience of side-effects, anxiety about taking medicines, and the number of types of medicines taken, were not associated with non-adherence. Conclusions: Beliefs on which individual Japanese patients with chronic diseases attach value in order to take medicines without anxiety were potential factors for intentional non-adherence. This emphasizes the necessity of a patient-oriented approach to take account of patients' personal beliefs about medicines to increase adherence rate in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-424
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • Compliance
  • Intentional non-adherence
  • Patient-centered care
  • Patients' beliefs
  • Prescription drugs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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