Discontinuing Treatment Against Medical Advice: The Role of Perceived Autonomy Support From Providers in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

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DOI: 10.1093/abm/kay035


BACKGROUND: Long-term medication adherence is problematic among patients with chronic medical conditions. To our knowledge, this was the first study to examine factors associated with nonadherence among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who discontinue disease-modifying treatments against medical advice.

PURPOSE: To examine differences in perceived provider autonomy support between disease-modifying treatment-adherent relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients who discontinued disease-modifying treatments against medical advice.

METHODS: Self-report questionnaires and a neurologic exam were administered to demographically matched adherent (n = 50) and nonadherent (n = 79) relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis patients from the Midwest and Northeast USA.

RESULTS: Adherent patients reported greater perceived autonomy support from their treatment providers, F(1, 124) = 28.170, p < .001, partial η2 = .185. This difference persisted after controlling for current multiple sclerosis healthcare provider, education, disease duration, Expanded Disability Status Scale, perceived barriers to adherence, and prevalence of side effects, F(1, 121) = 9.61, p = .002, partial η2 = .074. Neither depressive symptoms, F(1, 124) = 1.001, p > .05, partial η2 = .009, nor the occurrence of a major depressive episode, χ2(1, N = 129) = .288, p > .05, differed between adherent and nonadherent patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Greater perceived autonomy support from treatment providers may increase adherence to disease-modifying treatments among patients who discontinue treatment against medical advice. Results may inform interventions for patients who discontinue treatment against medical advice.

Journal Title

Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine





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MeSH Keywords

Adult; Female; Humans; Immunosuppressive Agents; Male; Medication Adherence; Middle Aged; Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting


Against medical advice; Autonomy support; Medication nonadherence; Multiple sclerosis

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