Cost-Related Medication Nonadherence and Depressive Symptoms

September 1, 2007

What factors affect a decision by Medicare beneficiaries to stop taking a medication because they cannot afford it? Dr Kara Zivin Bambauer and colleagues found that depressive symptoms were a significant predictor of cost-related medication nonadherence (CRN) in Medicare beneficiaries. The results of their study were published in the May 2007 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The researchers integrated measures of CRN into the 2004 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey; 2321 nonelderly Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities and 11,514 elderly Medicare beneficiaries were included.

What factors affect a decision by Medicare beneficiaries to stop taking a medication because they cannot afford it? Dr Kara Zivin Bambauer and colleagues found that depressive symptoms were a significant predictor of cost-related medication nonadherence (CRN) in Medicare beneficiaries. The results of their study were published in the May 2007 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The researchers integrated measures of CRN into the 2004 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey; 2321 nonelderly Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities and 11,514 elderly Medicare beneficiaries were included.

Forty-four percent of nonelderly persons with disabilities and 13% of elderly persons reported being depressed over the past year. The longer those with disabilities were depressed, the more CRN was reported (range, 19% to 22%). Elderly Medicare enrollees had lower rates of CRN than those with disabilities (range, 13% to 22%), and they experienced smaller increases in CRN when depressed over longer periods. *