• Self-reported factors influencing medication adherence in college students

      Nicoteri, Jo Ann L.; Lipscomb, Jane (2007)
      The health promoting behaviors developed as a young adult are crucial to the formation of future health habits and behaviors. Adherence to prescribed treatment for acute episodic illness is a primary component of health promotion activities for individuals who are otherwise healthy. For traditional-age undergraduate college students (18 to 24 years) experiencing their first health care encounters away from home without family involvement, adherence to short-term antibiotic therapy for an episodic illness can serve as a good indicator of student willingness to take responsibility for their own health. The purpose of this study was to describe factors identified by college students that influence adherence to treatment for episodic illness. The study has important implications for developing strategies to facilitate health promotion in college based health care settings. Adherence to medication has implications in terms of cost, morbidity, mortality, and effectiveness of the overall treatment regimen. Adherence to short-term antibiotic therapy, in particular, has implications for public health in terms of minimizing resistant strains of microorganisms. This research was a cross-sectional, retrospective descriptive study. Data were collected from 156 students via a self-report questionnaire administered electronically to students who received a prescription from student health services at a private university in the northeastern United States. In a logistic regression analysis, perceived barriers and medication self-efficacy were the strongest predictors of adherence. Indirect effects were demonstrated by past experience with adherence. In addition, in separate analyses, past experience was associated with perceived benefits, perceived barriers, parental influence, and self-efficacy. Younger students perceived greater influence on adherence by parents and health care providers than older students. College students learn not only academics but valuable life lessons. Healthcare providers at all levels, but particularly in college health settings, must recognize students' needs for education, plan and facilitate therapy with students, and intervene to promote adherence.