Background: Globally, of the 248 million people chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), 74 million reside in China. Five oral nucleot(s)ide analogs (NUCs) have been approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in China. Objectives: The aims of this study were to determine rates of adherence to NUC therapy in patients with CHB, to identify the self-perceived barriers to adherence, and to examine the factors associated with adherence. Methods: Questionnaire-based interviews were administered among Chinese patients with CHB at hepatology clinics of a tertiary hospital in the city of Wuhan, China. Adults aged 18 years or older prescribed with NUCs were recruited and interviewed to complete a 27-item questionnaire in a private setting, and adherence was measured using the Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-8). Results: Among 369 participants, only 16.5% had high adherence (score of 8), 32.2% had medium adherence (score of 6 to <8), and 51.2% were measured with low adherence (score of <6). A logistic regression model was used to determine the factors associated with medication adherence. Significant predictors of high adherence consisted of urban residency, non-cirrhotic status, not using prescribed pills other than HBV medications, and reminders from family members. The five most common reasons for skipping NUCs were that medication(s) are expensive (48.7%), forgetfulness (45.1%), have experienced or worry about potential side effects (19.8%), do not want others to know about my medication(s) usage (18.5%), and ran out of pills and do not have time to refill (15.9%). Conclusions: This study revealed that adherence rates to oral antiviral therapy were far from optimal. This finding should generate public attention, and it would be beneficial for interventional programs to target Chinese patients from rural regions, as well as patients with low socioeconomic status, cirrhosis, and taking multiple medications.
- Morisky Medication Adherence Scale
- chronic hepatitis B
- medication adherence
- nucleot(s)ide analogs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health