Understanding patient management: the need for medication adherence and persistence

  • YC Chia
Keywords: Compliance, medication adherence


Poor patient adherence to medication is one of the major factors contributing to poor disease control, in particular inasymptomatic chronic diseases like hypertension and dyslipidaemia. The physical and economic burden on patients and thehealth care system as a result of non-adherence is great. It is estimated that poor adherence to hypertension medicationaccounts for as many as 7.1 million preventable deaths annually. Hence recognising and identifying non-adherence is thefirst step to addressing this problem. Medication adherence can be measured in various ways including self-report to electronicmonitoring. In order to be more successful in managing non-adherence, attention must be paid to barriers to adherence,namely the interplay of patient factors, the health care providers themselves and the health care system itself. Taking theseinto account will probably have the greatest impact on improving medication adherence. Consequently strategies to helpovercome these barriers are of paramount importance. Some of these strategies will include education of patients, improvingcommunication between patients and health care providers, improving dose scheduling, providing drugs with less adverseeffects, and improving accessibility to health care. Poor mediation adherence continues to be a huge challenge. While thepatient is ultimately responsible for the taking of medication, good communication, involving the patient in decision makingabout their care and simplifying drug regimens go a long way in improving it.


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How to Cite
ChiaY. (2008). Understanding patient management: the need for medication adherence and persistence. Malaysian Family Physician, 3(1), 5. Retrieved from https://www.e-mfp.org/ojs3/index.php/MFP/article/view/272
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