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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


GONZALEZ PEREDO, Rebeca et al. Treatment adherence in a hospital emergency service. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2019, vol.93, e201910086.  Epub 07-Sep-2020. ISSN 2173-9110.


Patients do not always follow medical indications. This is a public health problem, with implications in health care and costs. The objective of this study was to calculate the percentage of non-adherence of adults to the treatment prescribed in a Hospital Emergency Service (“HES”) and understanding wich factors led to poor adherence so improvements can be established.


Prospective observational study. Cohort of adults who attended the HES. We collected sociodemographic data, medical history, chronic treatments, diagnosis and treatment at discharge from each individual. We applied Morisky-Green test (tailor made to the HES) to asses secondary non-adherence and multivariate analysis to find a correlation with the factors studied.


We established a non-adherence of 36.6% (IC95%=30.0-43.8). Patients with chronic endocrine pathology (RR=11.2; IC95%=2.1-60.8), diagnosed with ophthalmological problems (RR=9.8; IC95%=1.1-89.6) or contusions, sprains or fractures (RR=2.9; IC95%=1.1-7.8), those who were prescribed antibiotics (RR=5.4; IC95%=2.4-11.9), or those who considered that they had received sufficient explanations (RR=3.5; IC95%=1.0-13.2) were more adherent. Those who received analgesics or anti-inflammatories were less adherent (RR=0.4; IC95%=0.2-0.9).


Our results provide information on adherence in acute pathologies in the emergency department. Diabetes and ophthalmological problems or trauma are predictors of increased adherence. We observe more adherence in people with antibiotic treatments, although 20% did not complete treatment. There is a lack of adherence to analgesic/anti-inflammatory treatments. We consider it is important for professionals to take into account patient´s concerns about the medication. Patients who considered they had received enough explanations on their treatment were more adherent tan others. We believe it would be useful to provide further information about the outcomes of the medication we prescribe using new technologies such as mobile applications so we could increase adherence. Further studies would be needed to asses the benefit of the changes recently introduced (electronic hisory and prescription).

Palabras clave : Medication adherence; Emergency service; Health attitudes; Hospital.

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