Following an acute myocardial infarction, patients are prescribed a regime of cardio-protective medication to prevent recurrent cardiovascular events and mortality. Adherence to medication is poor in this patient group, and not fully understood. Current interventions have made limited improvements but are based upon presumed principles. To describe the phenomenon of medicine-taking for an individual taking medication for secondary prevention for an AMI, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse transcripts of semi-structured interviews with participants. Themes were generated for each participant, then summarized across participants. Five key themes were produced; the participants needed to compare themselves to others, showed that knowledge of their medicines was important to them, discussed how the future was an unknown entity for them, had assimilated their medicines into their lives, and expressed how an upset to their routine reduced their ability to take medication. Participants described complex factors and personal adaptations to taking their medication. This suggests that a patient-centred approach is appropriate for adherence work, and these themes could inform clinical practice to better support patients in their medicine adherence.© 2021. The Author(s).
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