Temporal stability of beliefs about medicines: implications for optimising adherence

Terry Porteous, Jill Francis, Christine Bond, Phil Hannaford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: To compare beliefs about medicines, as measured by the BMQ-General questionnaire, at two time points for the same respondents.

Methods: Respondents completed the BMQ-General as part of two separate postal questionnaires, administered with an intervening period of almost 4 years. BMQ-General scores were compared for all respondents at the two time points (2002 and 2005). Scores were also compared for three mutually exclusive groups based on changes in self-reported health status (better, worse or no change) during the intervening period.

Results: BMQ-General scores remained stable over time: no statistically significant differences were observed in individuals' scores after almost 4 years. This finding persisted amongst respondents who reported changes in health status during the intervening period.

Conclusion: General beliefs about medicines appear to remain stable over time, irrespective of changes in health status. Further research should be done to establish whether specific beliefs about medicines prescribed for individuals are similarly stable.

Practice implications: Adherence is known to be associated with beliefs about medicines. The observed stability in such beliefs could have implications for the design of interventions to improve adherence to prescribed medication regimes. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Adherence
  • Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire
  • Health beliefs
  • behavior-change techniques
  • self-reported adherence
  • medication adherence
  • illness
  • Scotland
  • advice


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