As many as half of stroke survivors fail to take their medications as prescribed resulting in unnecessary hospitalizations, morbidity, and mortality. While there is extensive literature on medication adherence in chronic conditions, like hypertension, little is known about medication adherence in stroke survivors. Subsequently, current interventions to help stroke survivors improve medication adherence are not very effective. The overarching goal of the Medication Adherence after Stroke (MAST) project is to better understand medication adherence in stroke survivors. Findings from this study will facilitate the development of an evidence-based theory-driven medication adherence intervention, which is anticipated to improve stroke survivors? health and well-being. Specifically, this exploratory study will describe medication adherence after stroke through two key comparisons. First, we will quantitatively and qualitatively compare the factors affecting medication adherence in 64 stroke survivors with 64 people with hypertension without disability (specific aim 1). People with hypertension are an optimal comparative sample, as hypertension is a leading risk factor for stroke and both populations are prescribed similar antihypertensive medications. This comparison will help us translate the sizable literature on medication adherence from people with hypertension to create a more effective intervention for stroke survivors. Second, we will compare the adequacy of two theoretical models in predicting 64 stroke survivors? medication adherence (specific aim 2). The Health Belief Model is a popular theoretical model informing medication adherence interventions for people with hypertension and other chronic conditions. The Person-Environment-Occupation Model is an novel theoretical model informing stroke rehabilitation. This comparison will identify the best theoretical model on which to base future medication adherence intervention work for stroke survivors. In this study, participants will be asked to describe their demographics, medication regimen, stroke knowledge, beliefs about medications, and medication adherence. They will participate in an interview about taking medications and be rated on their ability to correctly complete a standardized medication task. Then, using an electronic monitoring system, participants will track their medication adherence for 30 days. The MAST study includes an innovative combination of research approaches from the medication adherence and stroke literatures to support a successful study.
As many as half of stroke survivors fail to take their medications as prescribed, resulting in unnecessary hospitalizations, morbidity, and mortality. Through the Medication Adherence after Stroke (MAST) project, we will better understand the barriers affecting stroke survivors? medication adherence. This knowledge will be used to create new effective medication adherence interventions that promote stroke survivors? overall health and well-being.