Asthma medication adherence: The role of God and other health locus of control factors

Brian K. Ahmedani, Edward L. Peterson, Karen E. Wells, Cynthia S. Rand, L. Keoki Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Medication adherence is an important determinant of disease outcomes, yet medication use on average tends to be low among patients with chronic conditions, including asthma. Although several predictors of non-adherence have been assessed, more research is needed on patients' beliefs about God and how these relate to medication use. Objective: To examine the relationship between perceptions about «God's» role in health and other locus of control factors with inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) adherence among asthma patients. Methods: Participants were from a clinical trial to improve ICS adherence and were 5-56 years old, had a diagnosis of asthma, and were receiving ICS medication. Baseline adherence was estimated from electronic prescription and pharmacy fill records. Patients were considered to be adherent if ICS use was ≥80% of prescribed. A baseline survey with the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control scale was used to assess five sources (God, doctors, other people, chance, and internal). Results: Medication adherence was low (36%). Patients' who had a stronger belief that God determined asthma control were less likely to be adherent (odds ratio [OR] 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70-0.96). This relationship was stronger among African American (OR 0.68, 95% CI0.47-0.99) compared to white patients (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.75-1.04), and among adults (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.69-0.96) compared to children (OR 0.84, 95% CI 0.58-1.22). Conclusion: Patients' belief in God's control of health appears to be a factor in asthma controller use, and therefore should be considered in physician-patient discussions concerning course of treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-79.e2
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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