Predicting compliance with treatment following stroke: A new model of adherence following rehabilitation

Nicolene Coetzee, David Andrewes*, Fary Khan, Tom Hale, Lisanne Jenkins, Nadina Lincoln, Peter Disler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Adherence to medication is fundamental to optimal health recovery yet compliance to medication rates are lower than 50% in most studies. This study aimed to investigate the correlates of adherence in stroke patients. Method: Twenty-six stroke patients and 29 amputee patients who had completed a rehabilitation program at Melbourne Rehabilitation Centre were investigated. Medical adherence was determined from computed adherence metrics based on pill counts and subjective reports of patient knowledge of medication use. Model components that were believed to contribute to poor adherence, included emotional and cognitive dysfunction, beliefs about medication, and social support. These factors were assessed by patient and partner self-rating questionnaires. Results: Stroke patients showed a lower level of adherence compared to amputee patients. Cognitive and emotional dysfunction, beliefs about medication, and the level of care were significantly associated with low adherence to medicine regimes in stroke patients. Level of cognitive impairment and emotional impairment were significantly associated with low adherence to medicines in amputee patients. Emotional dysfunction was the best predictor of poor adherence in both patient groups. Conclusion: The findings are in keeping with past adherence studies with other patient groups and support the position that emotional, cognitive, and social factors are important factors in adherence. The specific nonadherence profile for this brain-damaged group is modeled and the application for outpatients following rehabilitation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-139
Number of pages18
JournalBrain Impairment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Compliance
  • Model
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing

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