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Berger and Felkey (2001) summarized the prerequisites for adherence to medication regimens. Adherence requires that a person: photo

  • Show interest in his or her health and understand the diagnosis
  • Understand the potential impact of the diagnosis
  • Believe that the prescribed treatment will help
  • Know exactly how to take the medication and the duration of therapy
  • Find ways to fit the medication regimen into his or her daily routine
  • Value the outcome of treatment more than the cost of treatment
  • Believe that he or she can carry out the treatment plan
  • Believe that the health care practitioners involved in the treatment process truly care about him or her as a person rather than as a disease to be treated

Levine (1998) demonstrated that the following steps increase adherence:

  • Assessing the person's understanding about the disease and the treatment regimen and then providing information where knowledge gaps exist
  • Tying the medication-taking process to other daily routines
  • Using adherence aids, such as medication organizers or charts
  • Simplifying medication regimens
  • Providing human support within the health care team
  • Recognizing difficulty in coping and other socio-behavioral issues that may affect the person's ability to follow the treatment regimen