Patients’ perspectives on statin therapy for treatment of hypercholesterolaemia: a qualitative study

Elizabeth P. Tolmie, Grace M. Lindsay, Susan M. Kerr, Malcolm R. Brown, Ian Ford, Allan Gaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • coronary heart disease
  • statin therapy
  • cholesterol


Dive into the research topics of 'Patients’ perspectives on statin therapy for treatment of hypercholesterolaemia: a qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this