Over half of prescribed medications are not taken as prescribed, resulting in health and economic consequences. Using constructivist grounded theory, 15 interviews were conducted to develop a theory on understanding the medication adherence choices of individuals, who were between the ages of 40 to 55, were diagnosed with a chronic condition, and taking three or more medications. The results indicate that participants are engaging in self-management strategies, with massive variance in adherence behaviours. Medications are sacrificed for personal and financial reasons, resonating with feelings of fear for the person’s current situation and future. Individuals are struggling with who they have become to who they once were, which becomes related to their medications. Finally, individuals are citing the impact of their physician; citing barriers to communication and Canada’s health care system. Participants’ experiences provided an understanding of the meanings individuals associate with their medications and how this impacts their decision-making.
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