For many chronic diseases, treatment outcomes largely depend on the active participation of patients in their treatment(Demoly et al. 2016). However, as ChesneyMargaret points out in Volume 30 of the Clinical Infectious Diseases of June 2000, nonadherence to medications remains widespread among patients with chronic diseases. This is widely evident in clinical practice and trials worldwide.  

Researchers have determined that patients fail to keep up with their medication or treatment plans because of forgetfulness, perceived lack of efficacy of the medication and many other reasons. More specifically, a report published by the American Medical Association identifies fear of potential side effects as a critical reason for intentional nonadherence. The report further says that the cost of medication, lack of understanding of the need for medication, delayed results and the nature of side effectsalso have an impacton adherence to medication.

Since most treatment regimens may not be successful without patients’ active participation, interventions that encourage adherence are key to achieving better treatment outcomes and improving people’s quality of life overall. These should cut across scheduling of appointments for patients and dose reminder calls,to designing of customized adherence plans for different patients.

References

Chesney, M.A., 2000. Factors affecting adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Clinical Infectious Diseases30(Supplement_2), pp.S171-S176.

Demoly, P., Passalacqua, G., Pfaar, O., Sastre, J. and Wahn, U., 2016. Patient engagement and patient support programs in allergy immunotherapy: a call to action for improving long-term adherence. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology12(1), p.34.