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INTRODUCTION: The increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases makes the elderly the most medicated age group of a society. The problems arising from non-adherence to drug treatment have concerned health care professionals. With this study we aimed to evaluate the level of therapeutic adherence in the elderly and the association between adherence and sociodemographic data, number of drugs and pathologies.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out with 293 patients in the health care centre of Moimenta da Beira, Tarouca and Mirandela, with individuals aged ? 65 years old, with medication and chronic diseases. It was applied the self-filling questionnaire “Measurement of Therapeutic Adherence” (MTA) built by Delgado and Lima in 2001.
RESULTS: A total of 293 patients’ questionnaires were analysed between 65-89 years old. Of these, 40.6% were males and 71.3% had ? 4 years old of schooling. The MTA values were higher in the 65-69 and 80-84 age groups. Significant differences (p = 0.001) were found in MTA medians in groups with different numbers of diseases. The median of MTA was higher with statistical significance in men (p = 0.003) and in the health care centre of Tarouca (p = 0.002). Statistically significant differences were found in the median value of MAT among age groups and between levels of schooling (p = 0.001).
DISCUSSION: There are factors that seem to influence therapeutic adherence, such as male gender. Literacy also seems to have influence. Higher therapeutic adherence was registered among individuals with higher levels of schooling.
CONCLUSION: Further studies will be needed, more representative studies and studies to clarify the reasons for non-adherence to therapeutic measures. It is important to raise awareness among physicians and patients about the importance of therapeutic adherence.