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Management of patient adherence to medications: protocol for an online survey of doctors, pharmacists and nurses in Europe
  1. Wendy Clyne1,
  2. Comfort Mshelia1,
  3. Stephanie Hall2,
  4. Sarah McLachlan1,
  5. Peter Jones3,
  6. Fabienne Dobbels4,
  7. Todd Ruppar4,5,
  8. Kaat Siebens4,
  9. Val Morrison6,
  10. Sabina De Geest4,
  11. Premyzlaw Kardas7
  1. 1NPC Plus, Keele University, Keele, UK
  2. 2Division of Applied Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  3. 3School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University, Keele, UK
  4. 4Center for Health Services and Nursing Research, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium
  5. 5Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA
  6. 6School of Psychology, Bangor University, Bangor, UK
  7. 7First Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Wendy Clyne; w.clyne{at}


Introduction It is widely recognised that many patients do not take prescribed medicines as advised. Research in this field has commonly focused on the role of the patient in non-adherence; however, healthcare professionals can also have a major influence on patient behaviour in taking medicines. This study examines the perceptions, beliefs and behaviours of healthcare professionals—doctors, pharmacists and nurses—about patient medication adherence.

Methods and analysis This paper describes the study protocol and online questionnaire used in a cross-sectional survey of healthcare professionals in Europe. The participating countries include Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy and England. The study population comprises primary care and community-based doctors, pharmacists and nurses involved in the care of adult patients taking prescribed medicines for chronic and acute illnesses.

Discussion Knowledge of the nature, extent and variability of the practices of healthcare professionals to support medication adherence could inform future service design, healthcare professional education, policy and research.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • To cite: Clyne W, Mshelia C, Hall S, et al. Management of patient adherence to medications: protocol for an online survey of doctors, pharmacists and nurses in Europe. BMJ Open 2011;1:e000355. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000355

  • Funding This study, as part of the ABC project, is funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework programme (FP7 Theme Health, 2007-3.1-5, grant agreement number 223477).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the NRES Committee North West-Liverpool East (REC Reference 11/NW/0156).

  • Contributors The principal investigator is WC. The ABC project coordinator is PK. All authors took part in the development of the questionnaire. WC, CM, SH, SM and PJ took part in the design and development of the protocol. All authors contributed to the writing of the final manuscript. WC and CM revised the manuscript with input and advice from all authors.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data available.

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