The beliefs about medication scale: Development, reliability, and validity

Kristin A. Riekert, Dennis Drotar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to develop and evaluate a psychometrically sound health belief measure, the Beliefs About Medication Scale (BAMS) that can be used with adolescent chronic illness populations whose prescribed treatment includes oral medication. One hundred and thirty-three adolescents (age 11-18 years) with asthma (n = 60), HIV (n = 31), or inflammatory bowel disease (n = 42) completed the BAMS and, along with their parent, a self-report medication interview. A confirmatory factor analysis supported the hypothesized subscales of Perceived Threat, Positive Outcome Expectancy, Negative Outcome Expectancy, and Intent to Adhere to treatment. The subscales evidenced good internal consistency and 3-week test-retest reliability. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated that the health belief constructs accounted for 22% of the variance in medication adherence beyond demographic and illness characteristics. The study provides preliminary evidence of the reliability and validity of a theoretically based measure of health beliefs for adolescents. The BAMS may be a useful tool to evaluate the psychological barriers to adherence that place teenagers at risk for nonadherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-184
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Attitudes
  • Compliance
  • Health beliefs
  • Social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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