Objective: This review synthesizes findings of quantitative studies examining the relationship between health beliefs and medication adherence in hypertension. Methods: This review included published studies in PubMed, CINHAL, EMBASE, and PsycINFO databases. Studies were included if they examined beliefs of patients with hypertension. Quality of the studies was evaluated using the Quality Assessment Tool for Systematic Review of Observational Studies. Results: Of the 1558 articles searched, 30 articles were included in the analysis. Most beliefs examined by studies of this review in relation to medication adherence were beliefs related to hypertension severity and susceptibility to its consequences, medication effectiveness or necessity, and barriers to medication adherence. Higher medication adherence was significantly related to fewer perceived barriers to adherence (e.g, side-effects) was fairly consistent across studies. Higher self-efficacy was related to higher medication adherence. Patients’ beliefs and their relationship to medication adherence appear to vary unpredictably across and within countries. Conclusion: Clinicians should assess beliefs for individual patients. When individual beliefs appear likely to undermine adherence, it may be useful to undertake educational interventions to try to modify them. Practical implications: Clinicians should explore individual patients’ beliefs about hypertension and blood pressure medications, discuss their implications for medication adherence, and try to modify counterproductive beliefs.
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