Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 7, July 2011

Cholesterol lowering medication Patients’ knowledge, attitudes and experiences

Nigel Stocks Paul Aylward Angela Gialamas Simon Vanlint
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Despite evidence of the efficacy of cholesterol lowering medication, it is known there is suboptimal patient adherence to this medication. The aim of this study is to investigate patient knowledge, attitudes and experiences of their cholesterol lowering medication, and explore patient views regarding programs to support self management.
This study provides preliminary evidence that patients on long term statin therapy may have gaps in their knowledge about their condition and treatment options and a desire to be better informed.
Twenty-six patients were interviewed. Most patients could name at least one risk factor for their hyperlipidaemia. Approximately one-third of patients reported they did not understand the reasons they were taking their cholesterol medication and over two-thirds did not understand how their medication worked. Most reported that their general practitioner was their main source of information about cholesterol. Many expressed a desire to be better informed about cholesterol, its risk factors and medication and that an information session at their local general practice clinic would be useful.

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