Original Article | Volume 18: 14 | 11 Mar 2023

Medication adherence, its associated factors and implication on glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A cross-sectional study in a Malaysian primary care clinic


Introduction: Medication adherence and metabolic control remain suboptimal among patients with diabetes mellitus in Malaysia despite the clear benefits of reduced vascular complications and mortality risk. This study examined the factors associated with medication adherence and glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in a primary care clinic.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a public health clinic in Pagoh, Johor, among 386 patients recruited via systematic random sampling. Data were obtained using a validated 7-item structured questionnaire, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test and medical record review. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the factors associated with medication adherence.
Results: The mean patient age was 60.04±10.75 years, and the mean HbA1c level was 8.3±2.0%. Approximately 60.3% of the participants were adherent to their medication, and an increasing age was significantly associated with medication nonadherence (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 0.959; confidence interval [CI]: 0.934–0.985). Medication adherence (adjusted OR: 2.688; CI: 1.534–4.708) and use of combined oral medications (adjusted OR: 5.604; CI: 3.078–10.203), combined oral medications with insulin (adjusted OR: 23.466; CI: 8.208–67.085) and insulin only (adjusted OR: 6.528; CI: 1.876–22.717) were associated with good glycaemic control. Older age (adjusted OR: 0.954; CI: 0.923–0.986) and Malay ethnicity (adjusted OR: 0.284; CI: 0.101–0.794) were associated with poor glycaemic control.
Conclusion: Suboptimal medication adherence and glycaemic control are prevalent in primary care settings, especially among elderly patients. Counselling should be targeted to patients and their caretakers to improve medication adherence and optimise metabolic control.