Which interventions are used by health care professionals to enhance medication adherence in cardiovascular patients? A survey of current clinical practice

Lut Berben, Laura Bogert, Marcia E. Leventhal, Bengt Fridlund, Tiny Jaarsma, Tone M. Norekvål, Karen Smith, Anna Strömberg, David Thompson, Sabina De Geest*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Complex medication regimens are often required to manage cardiovascular diseases. As non-adherence, which can have severe negative outcomes, is common among cardiovascular patients, various interventions to improve adherence should be implemented in daily practice. Aim: To assess which strategies cardiovascular nurses and allied health professionals utilize to (1) assess patients' adherence to medication regimen, and (2) enhance medication adherence via educational/cognitive, counseling/behavioral, and psychological/affective interventions. Method: A 45-item questionnaire to assess adherence assessment and interventional strategies utilized by health care professionals in daily clinical practice was distributed to a convenience sample of attendants of the 10th Annual Spring Meeting of the European Society of Cardiology Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions conference in Geneva (Switzerland) in March 2010. Respondents not in direct clinical practice were excluded. Descriptive statistics were used to describe practice patterns regarding adherence management. Results: Of 276 distributed questionnaires, 171 (62%) were returned, of which 34 (20%) were excluded as respondents performed no direct patient care. Questioning patients about non-adherence during follow-up was the most frequently reported assessment strategy (56%). Educational/cognitive adherence enhancing interventions were used most frequently, followed by counseling/behavioral interventions. Psychological/affective interventions were less frequently used. The most frequent intervention used was providing reading materials (66%) followed by training patients regarding medication taking during inpatient recovery (48%). Slightly over two-thirds (69%) reported using a combination of interventions to improve patient's adherence. Conclusion: Educational interventions are used most in clinical practice, although evidence shows they are less effective than behavioral interventions at enhancing medication adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2011


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Medication adherence
  • Patient compliance
  • Practice patterns
  • Professional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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