Health Care Practitioners’ attempts to implement secondary prevention targets for coronary heart disease (CHD) may be restricted by low rates of persistence with statin therapy. There is a need to understand why some patients, despite having established CHD and elevated cholesterol, do not comply with their prescribed statin regimen. Aim: To explore patients’ perspectives on compliance with statin therapy. Setting: Primary care, West of Scotland. Methods: The research approach was qualitative. Thirty-three patients prescribed statin therapy and identified as having different patterns of compliance (poor moderate and good) were interviewed. The in-depth interviews were conducted on a one to one basis. Patients prescribed statin therapy for less than three months were excluded. Data were analysed thematically with the assistance of QSR Nudist. Findings: From analysis of the narrative data, two broad categories, i.e. ‘Patient–health care provider communication’ and ‘Health beliefs’ were identified. These categories encompassed six main themes: ‘Initiation of therapy’; ‘Subsequent feedback’; ‘Sources of misconceptions’; ‘Unconditional acceptance’; ‘Conditional acceptance’; ‘Deferment and Rejection’. Acceptance of and compliance with statin therapy appeared to be associated with the provision, interpretation and feedback of information during patient-practitioner consultations, and patients’ beliefs about personal health status, cholesterol, and recommended cholesterol-lowering strategies. Conclusions: Patients’ beliefs and understanding about cholesterol, and the role of cholesterol modifying strategies should be determined prior to the initiation of therapy and at appropriate intervals thereafter.
- coronary heart disease
- statin therapy