Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Nursing Studies




School of Nursing and Midwifery




Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2020


Rashidi, A., Kaistha, P., Whitehead, L., & Robinson, S. (2020). Factors that influence adherence to treatment plans among people living with cardiovascular disease: A review of published qualitative research studies. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 110, Article 103727.



Treatment plan adherence is recognized as a worldwide health issue, particularly important in the management of cardiovascular patients. Healthcare professionals are the primary sources of information and support for people diagnosed with CVD and those who have experienced a cardiac event, yet we know little about how healthcare professionals contribute to the process of adherence to treatment plans that aim to prevent and/or reduce disease and adverse events. Qualitative evidence that explores factors that influence adherence to treatment plans is limited.


This systematic review identified and synthesised the best available evidence on factors that influence adherence to treatment plans amongst people living with cardiovascular disease.


Systematic review and qualitative synthesis.


Data were collected from Medline, Web of Science, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Embase- Non-Medline, Scopus, Cochrane Library, ProQuest Central (Grey Literature). Pre-defined keywords and MeSH terms were used to identify qualitative methods English-language studies published between 2001 and 2018. Quality appraisal of each paper was completed using the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist and two reviewers extracted the data independently.


Twenty-two articles were included. Eight key themes were identified that related to facilitators and barriers to adherence to treatment plans. Facilitators were identified as engaging in exercise, having support and mentorship, lifestyle modification, and the perceived value of taking medication. Barriers were identified as a perceived lack of support, concerns about taking medication, and lack of engagement in exercise and lifestyle changes.


The findings highlight the factors that support adherence and healthcare professionals can build on also the areas that can be targeted to support and improve adherence to treatment plans. Nurses can play an important role in enhancing the provision of information pre hospital discharge and support in the community on taking medication, the value of physical activity and dietary changes.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Nursing Commons