Coronary artery disease (CAD) accounts for 600,000 deaths annually in the United States and is the leading cause of death for both men and women around the world. Treatment of hypercholesterolemia has been proven to decrease both morbidity and mortality of CAD. Primary and secondary prevention of CAD is based on controlled LDL cholesterol levels. Patient's beliefs related to lipid lowering medications impacts adherence to these medications. Influences on health are also impacted by place of residence. Negative influences on total health care are based on barriers present in rural communities. The use and acceptance of these medications by rural populations are essential. This pilot project begins to fill knowledge gaps related to rural patients beliefs about medication adherence.
Purpose: The purposes of this pilot project were to describe rural patient's (a) belief's about high cholesterol and cholesterol lowering medications, (b) their adherence to taking these medications, and (c) relationships between adherence and beliefs.
Sample: This was a convenience sample obtained at a rural Georgia clinic.
Method: A descriptive survey approach was used to explore rural dwelling patients' at a primary care clinic in rural Georgia.
Findings: The Morisky Scale addressed the patient's adherence to their prescribed cholesterol medications. The HABIT tool examined patients' beliefs. Calculations were completed on the responses of the participants. Spearman's rho correlation revealed patient's who believe the mediations work, and patient's who believe elevated cholesterol increases the risk of heart attack were more likely to be adherent with their cholesterol lowering medications.
Conclusion: Increasing the patient's knowledge and addressing beliefs can result in increased adherence with cholesterol lowering medications.
Keywords: Coronary artery disease, Rural populations, Patient's beliefs, Medication adherence
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