Press release: Identifying barriers to medical adherence – reviewing the IMAB-Q

Pharmacy Research UK (PRUK) is delighted to announce the publication of research funded by the charity that has developed a tool to identify patients with low medication adherence and to explore the barriers preventing these patients from adhering to their medication schedule.

Between a third and a half of patients prescribed medication for long term conditions do not take them as prescribed and currently there is no effective tool for determining patient barriers to adherence in order to provide them with guidance and support. Dr Debi Bhattacharya and her team at the University of East Anglia in collaboration with other organisations and with funding from PRUK, have developed and tested the Identification of Medication Adherence Barriers Questionnaire (IMAB-Q) to identify patient barriers to adherence to routine care.

The IMAB-Q was tested by pharmacists in nine pharmacies as part of Medicine Use Reviews (MURs) to explore feasibility of using this questionnaire in practice. The pharmacists thought that IMAB-Q was useful for identifying adherence barriers and particularly for raising topics that are not routinely discussed; the most common barriers for adherence were emotions and beliefs about consequences which are topics not routinely discussed in MURs.

Lead Researcher, Dr Bhattacharya said, “The IMAB-Q has shown to be very useful tool for pharmacists to identify patients who are experiencing difficulties with taking their medication as prescribed and indicates what guidance and support should be offered. We intend for the IMAB-Q to be used as a standard tool to guide and improve MURs and other adherence related consultations”.

The researchers intend to undertake further study to explore whether a brief community pharmacist-led consultation supported by the IMAB-Q is more effective than the MUR for identifying and resolving barriers to medication adhere and thus improving health outcomes.

Notes to Editors

  1. PRUK is the principle funder of pharmacy research in the UK. Founded as a result of a merger in 2012 of two previous research funding charities, PRUK has a broad programme of research in place. PRUK funds both research projects and individual bursaries to improve skills across the pharmacy sector. Registered charity number 1148335.
  2. See the full research report.
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