Denial and compliance in adults with asthma

Elizabeth F. McGann, Dorothy Sexton, Deborah A. Chyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A descriptive study examining the relationship of denial of illness and compliance with inhaled controller asthma medications is conducted with 51 adults taking inhaled asthma controller medications. Affective and cognitive denial are assessed with the Levine Denial of Illness Scale. Severity is determined by portable spirometry; compliance is measured for 2 weeks with DOSER, a microelectronic monitor. The mean percent compliance rate for inhaled controller medications is 36%, with only 10.4% of the participants demonstrating optimal compliance (>80%). Although cognitive denial is not significantly associated with compliance, those in the suboptimal compliance group do have significantly higher information avoidance subscale scores (M = 1.88; p =.02). Affective denial is inversely correlated with compliance (r = -.31; p =.05) and is significantly higher in the suboptimal compliance group (M = 11.51; p =.05). These study findings suggest that affective denial may be a contributor to suboptimal compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-170
Number of pages20
JournalClinical Nursing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Adherence
  • Asthma
  • Compliance
  • Denial
  • Microelectronic monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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