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Ethnic disparities in medication adherence? A systematic review examining the association between ethnicity and antidiabetic medication adherence.

Lookup NU author(s): Rayah Asiri, Professor Adam ToddORCiD, Dr Anna Robinson-BarellaORCiD, Professor Andy HusbandORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


ObjectivesAdherence to prescribed medication is an essential component of diabetes management to obtain optimal outcomes. Understanding the relationship between medication adherence and ethnicity is key to optimising treatment for all people with different chronic illnesses, including those with diabetes. The aim of this review is to examine whether the adherence to antidiabetic medications differed by ethnicity among people with diabetes.MethodsA systematic review was conducted of studies reporting adherence to antidiabetic medica- tion amongst people from different ethnic groups. MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and Psy- cINFO were searched from their inception to June 2022 for quantitative studies with a specific focus on studies assessing adherence to antidiabetic medications (PROSPERO: CRD42021278392). The Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklist and a second checklist designed for studies using retrospective databases were used to assess study quality. A narrative synthesis approach was used to summarize the results based on the medication adherence measures.ResultsOf 17,410 citations screened, 41 studies that included observational retrospective database research and cross-sectional studies were selected, each of which involved diverse ethnic groups from different settings. This review identified a difference in the adherence to antidia- betic medications by ethnicity in 38 studies, despite adjustment for several confounding vari- ables that may otherwise explain these differences.ConclusionThis review revealed that adherence to antidiabetic medication differed by ethnicity. Further research is needed to explore the ethnicity-related factors that may provide an explanation for these disparities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Asiri R, Todd A, Robinson-Barella A, Husband A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2023

Volume: 18

Issue: 2

Online publication date: 22/02/2023

Acceptance date: 04/02/2023

Date deposited: 24/02/2023

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0271650


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Funder referenceFunder name
Saudi Arabian Cultural Bureau in the United Kingdom and King Khalid University in Saudi Arabia