According to a literature review in Respiratory Medicine, a perceived social stigma against asthma inhaler use was a contributing factor in poor medication adherence for patients with asthma.

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In total, 36 papers met the inclusion criteria of the study. The main findings of the review were categorized as:

  • Perceived need for treatment—The 12 studies that used the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire to measure patients’ perceived need for treatment found that patients’ beliefs about the need for treatment were associated with their adherence.
  • Concerns about treatment—58% were concerned about immediate and long-term side effects, 19% were worried about safety, and 31% were concerned about the potential addiction to the asthma medication.
  • Perceived Social Stigma—22% of the studies found that embarrassment contributed to poor adherence.