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Pacek LR, McClernon FJ, Bosworth HB. Adherence to Pharmacological Smoking Cessation Interventions: A Literature Review and Synthesis of Correlates and Barriers. Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 2018 Sep 4; 20(10):1163-1172.
Introduction: Efficacious pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation are available, but poor adherence to these treatments may limit these interventions overall impact. To improve adherence to smoking cessation interventions, it is first necessary to identify and understand smoker-level characteristics that drive nonadherence (ie, nonconformance with a provider's recommendation of timing, dosage, or frequency of medication-taking during the prescribed length of time). Methods: We present a literature review of studies examining correlates of, or self-reported reasons for, nonadherence to smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. Studies were identified through PubMed-using MeSH terms, Embase-using Emtree terms, and ISI Web of Science. Results and Conclusions: This literature review included 50 studies that examined nonpreventable (eg, sociodemographics) and preventable (eg, forgetfulness) factors associated with adherence to smoking cessation medication and suggestions for overcoming some of the identified barriers. Systematic study of this topic would be facilitated by consistent reporting of adherence and correlates thereof in the literature, development of consistent definitions of medication adherence across studies, utilization of more objective measures of adherence (eg, blood plasma levels vs. self-report) in addition to reliance on self-reported adherence. Implications: This article provides the most comprehensive review to date on correlates of adherence to pharmacological smoking cessation interventions. Challenges and specific gaps in the literature that should be a priority for future research are discussed. Future priorities include additional research, particularly among vulnerable populations of smokers, developing standardized definitions of adherence and methods for measuring adherence, regular assessment of cessation pharmacotherapy adherence in the context of research and clinical practice, and development of novel treatments aimed at preventable barriers to medication adherence.