Scientific Programme
Year 2021
October 2021


Abstract Title
Medication adherence rate and the reasons of nonadherence among poorly controlled diabetes patients at polyclinic



National Healthcare Group Pharmacy1, NHG Polyclinics2

Background & Hypothesis

Poor adherence to antidiabetic medications is associated with increased complications, costs, hospitalization, and mortality.

This study aimed to examine the adherence rate and reasons of nonadherence to antidiabetic medications among poorly controlled diabetes patients at polyclinic.


We conducted Voil’s questionnaire among diabetes patients with HbA1c >8% at Toa Payoh polyclinic.

Voil’s questionnaire assessed the extent of nonadherence and the reasons for missing antidiabetic medications. The descriptive statistics for each reason were examined.

Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify any specific adherence characteristics.


36 subjects (mean age 64, mean HbA1c 9.7 %) were interviewed and 25 (69.4 %) reported nonadherence to their antidiabetic medications. Amongst those who reported nonadherence, 28% were unaware of their prescribed dosages.

The commonest reasons for reported nonadherence were forgetting (76%), being out of routine (52%), failing to get answers about their medication (40%), not having medications with them (40%), being late with their dose (36%), and feeling sick to take medications (36%).

Bivariate analyses showed that patients with diabetes for ≤ 10 years had 7.9 times higher odds for nonadherence than those with diabetes for > 10 years. (p=0.043)

Discussion & Conclusion

Patients with shorter diabetes duration might have not experienced severe diabetes complications, hence were less aware of the importance of adherence to control their diabetes. 

A detailed medication review and motivational interviewing targeting individual reasons could help to address the issues and improve medication adherence among poorly controlled diabetes patients.

Future studies should include larger sample sizes and comparative groups with good diabetic control.