Coping with Prescription Medication Costs: a Cross-sectional Look at Strategies Used and Associations with the Physical and Psychosocial Health of Individuals with Arthritis

Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging, Gateway Building, Suite 3C-309, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205, Bethesda, MD, 20892-9205, USA, .
Annals of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.2). 06/2012; 44(2):236-47. DOI: 10.1007/s12160-012-9380-7
Source: PubMed


Prescription medication costs increase financial burden, often leading individuals to engage in intentional nonadherence. Little is known about what specific medication cost-coping strategies individuals with arthritis employ.
The purposes of this study are (1) to identify characteristics of individuals with arthritis who self-report prescription medication cost-coping strategies and (2) to examine the association between medication cost-coping strategies and health status.
Seven hundred twenty-nine people self-reporting arthritis and prescription medication use completed a telephone survey. Adjusted regression models examined medication cost-coping strategies and five health status outcomes.
Participants reported engaging in cost-coping strategies due to medication costs. Those borrowing money had worse psychosocial health and greater disability; those with increasing credit card debt reported worse physical functioning, self-rated health, and greater helplessness. Medication underuse was associated with worse psychosocial health, greater disability, and depressive symptoms.
Individuals with arthritis use multiple strategies to cope with medication costs, and these strategies are associated with adverse physical and psychosocial health status.

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    • "The studies covered debts from different sources. Medical debt was discussed in one study [29], mortgage in five studies [7,27,12-14] and borrowing money from a friend or relative or increasing credit card debt in one study [28]. Credit card debt was specifically focused on in two studies [30,22]; in one of the studies, Drentea and Lavrakas [30] also observed the financial strain resulting from any debt. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, millions of households have been left with debts that they are unable to manage. Indebtedness may impair the wellbeing of those affected by it for years to come. This systematic review focuses on the long-term consequences of indebtedness on health. Methods The method used in the paper is a systematic review. First, bibliographic databases were searched for peer-reviewed articles. Second, the references and citations of the included articles were searched for additional articles. Results The results from our sample of 33 peer-reviewed studies demonstrate serious health effects related to indebtedness. Individuals with unmet loan payments had suicidal ideation and suffered from depression more often than those without such financial problems. Unpaid financial obligations were also related to poorer subjective health and health-related behaviour. Debt counselling and other programmes to mitigate debt-related stress are needed to alleviate the adverse effects of indebtedness on health. Conclusions The results demonstrate that indebtedness has serious effects on health.
    BMC Public Health 05/2014; 14(1):489. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-489 · 2.26 Impact Factor