Coping with prescription medication costs: a cross-sectional look at strategies used and associations with the physical and psychosocial health of individuals with arthritis

Kathryn Remmes Martin, Jack Shreffler, Britta Schoster, Leigh F Callahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Prescription medication costs increase financial burden, often leading individuals to engage in intentional nonadherence. Little is known about what specific medication cost-coping strategies individuals with arthritis employ.

PURPOSE: The purposes of this study are (1) to identify characteristics of individuals with arthritis who self-report prescription medication cost-coping strategies and (2) to examine the association between medication cost-coping strategies and health status.

METHODS: Seven hundred twenty-nine people self-reporting arthritis and prescription medication use completed a telephone survey. Adjusted regression models examined medication cost-coping strategies and five health status outcomes.

RESULTS: Participants reported engaging in cost-coping strategies due to medication costs. Those borrowing money had worse psychosocial health and greater disability; those with increasing credit card debt reported worse physical functioning, self-rated health, and greater helplessness. Medication underuse was associated with worse psychosocial health, greater disability, and depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Individuals with arthritis use multiple strategies to cope with medication costs, and these strategies are associated with adverse physical and psychosocial health status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-247
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012



  • adaptation, psychological
  • adult
  • aged
  • aged, 80 and over
  • arthritis
  • costs and cost analysis
  • cross-sectional studies
  • female
  • health surveys
  • humans
  • male
  • mental health
  • middle aged
  • prescription drugs

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