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Association among calendar packaging and medication adherence: Findings from a focus group discussion among hypertensive patients in Penang, Malaysia

1 Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang
2 Pharmacy Department, Hospital Kulim, Kulim, Kedah, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Bee Ying Tan,
Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.177414

Objective: This study is aimed to explore hypertensive patient's perceptions toward calendar packaging (CP) and its impact on medication adherence. Subjects and Methods: A qualitative method was adopted, whereby two focus group sessions were conducted among 16 conveniently sampled hypertensive patients from a community-based nongovernmental organization in the state of Penang, Malaysia. A prevalidated focus group guide was constructed and used for data collection. Analysis: Collected data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed by thematic content analysis to identify the emerging themes. Results: Each focus group consisted of eight hypertensive patients. Thematic content analysis resulted into three major themes (knowledge and familiarity with the medicines names and their packaging; perception about the packaging and labeling of medicines; and knowledge and views of CP). Each theme was further divided into two subthemes. Majority of the hypertensive patients were not familiar with their medication names; however, they were able to identify their medications based on the appearance and packaging. Participants agreed that CP is a great intervention to increase awareness among patients about regular medicine use and increase medication adherence. Conclusions: The study concluded that hypertensive patients relied on the packaging and labeling at the medications to identify their medicines. Thus, CP medications played an important role in improving medication adherence and reduce medication errors. The finding from this study can help the drug manufacturers to pay attention on the drug packaging in order to increase medication adherence among patients with chronic diseases.

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