Download PDF version of web site
Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size

Social support in general, and the availability of help from family or friends, is positively associated with medication adherence (Morrison and Werthheimer, 2004). People who have social support from family, friends, or caregivers to assist with medication regimens have better adherence to treatment. A person's perception of and need for a social support network can be assessed with the Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire, an eight-item instrument to measure the strength of the person's social support network (Broadhead et al., 1988). (See Assessment Tools section)

Lack of family or social support network
Involve family members
Refer to support group
Unstable living conditions; homelessness
Sources: Dixon et al., 1993; Caminero et al., 1996; Teeter, 1999; Tulsky et al., 2004
Meet fundamental needs for housing and food
Address comorbid conditions, such as psychiatric disease and substance abuse
Directly observe medication administration
Offer cash incentives for adherence
Encourage routine participation in health care visits
Provide information about medications and side effects
Burdensome schedule
Tailor medication regimen to daily routine
Reminders or compliance aids