The current study sought to obtain a longitudinal perspective of and quantitatively assess barriers to medication adherence
experienced by college
students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD). Thus, we examined semester-long trends in barriers to adherence
in addition to the relationships between barriers and medication adherence
and barriers and quality of life
Participants were college
students diagnosed with ADHD. Throughout a Fall semester, participants completed 4 sets of online questionnaires and attended 4 in-person visits, which included pill counts and written questionnaires. Participants completed measures assessing barriers to adherence
and health-related quality of life
, and adherence
was measured via pill counts. Mean values of barriers, adherence
rate, and quality of life
were used for all analyses.
Of the 45 students surveyed, mean adherence
rate was 56.70%, and 84.45% of participants reported at least 1 barrier
. Across the semester, participants reported experiencing an average of 3.07 barriers, and a consistent barrier
reported was not realizing when pills run out. Although reported barriers were unrelated to adherence
, the results showed that barriers were associated with lowered quality of life
, specifically lower overall quality of life
in addition to lower emotional functioning, psychosocial health, school functioning, and physical functioning.
Barriers to adherence
appear to be common in college
students with ADHD, and certain barriers are consistent with the planning difficulties observed in individuals with ADHD. Because students experiencing more barriers had lower quality of life
, interventions are needed to improve students' overall illness management experience.