The Challenge of Patient Adherence – Health System Example

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"The Challenge of Patient Adherence"  is a wonderful example of a paper on the health system. In their research, Martin et al. have discussed the importance of patient adherence to the treatment that has been prescribed by the physician. It is also called patient compliance, the absence of which can produce worse consequences on the health of the patient. It also brings economic loss. The researchers have given an extensive literature review that shows the statistics regarding the percentage of patients non-adhering to the treatment regimes every year. Treatment options that affect the patients’ lifestyle are difficult for patients with chronic illnesses.

Home-based treatment options are also not very successful as there is no supervision. An example is that of physical exercises.                       Non-adherence leads to many severe consequences, like a threat to survival in case of critical illnesses. Non-adhering patients receive less than ideal treatment when physicians assume that they are adhering. Hence, non-adherence lowers the overall quality of health care.                       The researchers have further studied the factors that bring on non-adherence and state that these include cognitive factors, interpersonal factors, patient involvement and participatory decision making, patients’ attitudes, and cultural variations.

The most important is the lack of communication between the physician and the patient, due to which the former does not become familiar with the beliefs and attitudes of the latter.             The physician-patient relationship is very important which must be worked on to improve patient adherence to treatment regimes. Mutual collaboration between the two parties improves trust between them, finally leading to patient satisfaction. This makes patients adhere to the treatment and improve the quality of health care.


Martin, Leslie R., Williams, Summer L., Haskard, Kelly B., and M. Robin DeMatteo. “The Challenge of Patient Adherence.” Ther Clin Risk Manag 1.3(2005): 189-199.
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