Osteoporos Sarcopenia.  2017 Dec;3(4):174-184. 10.1016/j.afos.2017.10.002.

Understanding the factors associated with initiation and adherence of osteoporosis medication in Japan: An analysis of patient perceptions

  • 1Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital and Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 2Eli Lilly Japan K.K., Kobe, Japan. sato_masayo@lilly.com
  • 3QuintilesIMS, Tokyo, Japan.


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to identify factors associated with initiation and adherence of osteoporosis medication from a patient perspective.
A web-based survey was developed based on health behavior theories. Descriptive analyses were conducted for all survey items. Analyses in a structural equation modeling framework were conducted to identify factors associated with treatment initiation and adherence.
Five hundred forty-five women completed the questionnaire. A majority were currently receiving medications for osteoporosis (n = 376, 69.0%) and 25.0% of these patients (n = 94) were considered adherent to their treatment. Knowledge was strongly associated with osteoporosis treatment initiation (standard error [SE], 0.58). Greater knowledge of disease was associated with increased likelihood of initiating medication. Medication complexity (SE, 0.49) and perceived susceptibility to fracture and loss of independence (SE, −0.37) were also associated with initiation. Perceived barriers (SE, −0.85) such as inconvenience, lack of efficacy and financial burden were observed to be the greatest obstacle to adherence. The greater the perceived barriers, the less likely patients were to adhere to medication. Patients' perception of self-efficacy (SE, 0.37) also affected adherence. The greater the patient perception of ability to independently manage their medication, the more likely they were to adhere to the medication.
Different factors were found to be associated with initiation and adherence of osteoporosis medication. Patient knowledge of their disease and the perception of barriers were found to be the most influential. Empowering patients with the knowledge to better understand their disease and decreasing the perception of barriers through education initiatives may be effective in improving patient outcomes.


Osteoporosis; Adherence; Japan; Patient-centered care
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