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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 452539, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/452539
Research Article

Patient Related Factors Affecting Adherence to Antimalarial Medication in an Urban Estate in Ghana

1School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7QG, UK
2Oakalex Community Pharmacy, Accra, Ghana
3Department of Clinical & Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 19 August 2014; Revised 27 January 2015; Accepted 28 January 2015

Academic Editor: Polrat Wilairatana

Copyright © 2015 Alexandria O. Amponsah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Our aim was to measure the adherence to Artemisinin based Combination Therapy and to determine patient related factors that affect adherence. Three hundred (300) patients receiving ACT treatment dispensed from the community pharmacy were randomly selected and followed up on the fourth day after the start of their three-day therapy to assess adherence. Adherence was measured by pill count. Quantitative interviews using a semistructured questionnaire were used to assess patients’ knowledge and beliefs on malaria and its treatment. Adherence levels to the ACTs were 57.3%. Patient related factors that affected adherence to ACTs were patients’ knowledge on the dosage (; ), efficacy (; ), and side effects (; ) of the ACTs used for the management of malaria, patients’ awareness of the consequences of not completing the doses of antimalarial dispensed (; ), and patients’ belief that “natural remedies are safer than medicines” and “prescribers place too much trust in medicines.” There was no significant relationship between adherence and patients’ knowledge on the causes, signs, and symptoms of malaria. There is the need for pharmacy staff to stress on these variables when counseling patients on antimalarials as these affect adherence levels.