Approaches to Improve Medication Adherence

Recommendations for Providers on Person-Centred Approaches to Assess and Improve Medication Adherence

For the provider:

  • Clarify objectives of therapy
  • Ensure that the patient’s decision reflects their goals and preferences
  • Screen for missed appointments
  • Engage the patient and ask them to describe their medication regimen, such as when they take their medication and what the medication is for
  • Use of communication skills (e.g., motivational interviewing, 5 A’s model)
  • Define and explain the problem
  • Present options
  • Discuss pros and cons (e.g., benefits, risks, costs)
  • Elicit information regarding patient’s values and preferences
  • Examine individual’s readiness to change
  • Explore patient’s self-efficacy
  • Anticipate and avoid common patient misperceptions
  • Offer recommendations
  • Check and clarify patient understanding
  • Move or defer a decision, if needed, and arrange follow-up

For the patient:

  • Understand knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes about treatment
  • Determine ability to attain therapeutic goals
  • Ask providers to explain the therapeutic options in order to make decisions concordant with goals and preferences
  • Articulate personal goals and preferences
  • Set and manage expectations of the treatment plan
  • Healthcare system
  • Support for training in motivational interviewing, and shared decision making
  • Provide evidence-based shared decision-making support tools
  • Use information technology to help educate and support their patients
  • Support the patient and provider team across the continuum of care

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