Addressing the social needs of hypertensive patients the role of patient-provider communication as a predictor of medication adherence

Antoinette Schoenthaler, George J. Knafl, Kevin Fiscella, Gbenga Ogedegbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background-Poor medication adherence is a pervasive problem in patients with hypertension. Despite research documenting an association between patient-provider communication and medication adherence, there are no empirical data on how the informational and relational aspects of communication affect patient's actual medication-Taking behaviors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of patient-provider communication on medication adherence among a sample of primary care providers and their black and white hypertensive patients. Methods and Results-Cohort study included 92 hypertensive patients and 27 providers in 3 safety-net primary care practices in New York City. Patient-provider encounters were audiotaped at baseline and coded using the Medical Interaction Process System. Medication adherence data were collected continuously during the 3-month study with an electronic monitoring device. The majority of patients were black, 58% women, and most were seeing the same provider for at least 1 year. Approximately half of providers were white (56%), 67% women, and have been in practice for an average of 5.8 years. Fifty-eight percent of patients exhibited poor adherence to prescribed antihypertensive medications. Three categories of patient-provider communication predicted poor medication adherence: lower patient centeredness (odds ratio: 3.08; 95% confidence interval: 1.04-9.12), less discussion about patients' sociodemographic circumstances (living situation, relationship with partner; odds ratio: 6.03; 95% confidence interval: 2.15-17), and about their antihypertensive medications (odds ratio: 6.48; 95% confidence interval: 1.83-23.0). The effect of having less discussion about patients' sociodemographic circumstances on medication adherence was heightened in black patients (odds ratio: 8.01; 95% confidence interval: 2.80-22.9). Conclusions-The odds of poor medication adherence are greater when patient-provider interactions are low in patient centeredness and do not address patients' sociodemographic circumstances or their medication regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere003659
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Patient-centered care
  • Primary health care
  • antihypertensive agents
  • hypertension
  • patient compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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