Adherence to treatment

How to improve patient’s adherence

Adherence to treatment in chronic disease

Adherence is one of the main problems for chronic illnesses like Osteoarthritis. Globally, it has been reported that only half of patients adhere to their medication as prescribed by their doctor.*

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines adherence as: “The extent to which a person’s behaviour taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes, corresponds with agreed recommendations from a health care provider.”*

Unlike compliance, adherence requires that patients agree with the provided recommendations.

*WHO report on adherence, 2003

Videos: How to improve adherence?

The following 3 videos present different scenarios that illustrate the importance of creating the right conditions to promote better patient adherence.

These videos have been produced with the collaboration of Dr. Monique Chalem, a medical doctor from the University of Rosario in Colombia, who is specialized in internal medicine and rheumatology. Dr. Chalem is also the former president of the Colombian Association of Rheumatology (Asoreuma).

The interaction shown in this video is not a recommended practice.
Patients need time to explain their situation and express what they can and cannot comply to in regards to the recommended treatment. Otherwise, there is a high risk that they will not properly or fully follow the provided recommendations.

The interaction shown in this video is not a fully recommended practice.
The doctor takes the time to explain the pathology and the recommended treatment. However, the patient is not given the chance to talk about his habits or what he can do to improve his condition.

The interaction shown in this video is a recommended practice.
The doctor asks the patient what both can do to improve his condition. He proposes to establish an action plan together that leads to better adherence to treatment. The patient is given time to talk about his life and habits. The doctor evaluates the patient’s habits, what he can do, what he knows and understands about the treatment. The doctor can then suggest the most appropriate treatment for the patient and increase the likelihood of his adherence. Additionally, the doctor encourages him to follow the recommended treatment.

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