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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jon Gietzen PA-C


BACKGROUND: Noncompliance in medicine is a common problem across the nation. Because of an increased prevalence of serious medical conditions including Diabetes and Hypertension among Quileute tribal members, nonadherence is a significant concern in this population.

OBJECTIVE: To discover whether nonadherence is a significant problem among the Quileute people, reasons for nonadherence among this population, and ways to alleviate this potential problem.

STUDY DESIGN: A confidential, voluntary survey was made available at the Quileute Health Center from May 25, 2004 to June 22, 2004. People receiving health care at the Quileute Center who were over the age of 18 were eligible for the survey. The survey questions included demographic questions and questions exploring adherence. Surveys were collected on June 22, 2004, and the data was analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of32 surveys were collected and analyzed. Most of the surveys collected were from Quileute tribal members (75%). Of the surveyed population, 37.5% had hypertension and 25% had diabetes. Using this study's definition of medication adherence, 81.25% of the total survey population was "adherent". Variables such as age, gender, education level, frequency of visits to clinic, number of medical conditions, number of medications, and communication were compared with adherence to determine correlation. There were not any statistical significant correlations due to the small number of surveys collected. The most common reason that people were not adherent with medications was forgetfulness. Overall, survey participants reported effective communication with their providers. 43.75% of participants reported that they "always" communicate well and 96.88% of participants reported that they never leave their appointments confused.

CONCLUSIONS: Quileute tribal members were found to be more adherent than national averages but there were some inconsistencies discovered in survey answers. Most survey participants had very positive comments regarding the health care that they receive. In the future, the Quileute Health Center could promote adherence by continuing to educate patients and also continuing to improve communication between patients and providers.


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