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Researchers develop strategy to improve patient adherence
Date:6/1/2011

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Physicians can help their patients follow prescribed treatments and achieve healthier results particularly in chronic disease management by using a three-pronged strategy developed by a team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside, Texas State University-San Marcos, and La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif.

The Information-Motivation-Strategy (IMS) Model developed after synthesizing findings from more than 100 large-scale studies and meta-analyses conducted between 1948 and 2009 appears in the peer-reviewed journal Health Psychology Review.

Nonadherence costs the U.S. health care system between $290 billion and $300 billion annually and wastes an estimated 275 million medical visits every year, according to study authors Robin DiMatteo of UC Riverside, Kelly Haskard-Zolnierek of Texas State University and Leslie Martin of La Sierra University. Haskard-Zolnierek and Martin earned their Ph.D.s in psychology at UC Riverside.

The World Health Organization estimates that in developed countries half of patients with chronic disease do not adhere to prescribed medication regimens; the number is far worse in developing countries.

"When regimens are more complex and intrusive patients are more prone to forget what they are supposed to do and are less likely to be able to carry out the directives that they do recall. Patients carry out prescribed regimens less effectively when they view their health problem as less severe," the authors wrote in their paper, "Improving Patient Adherence: A Three-factor Model to Guide Practice."

Nonadherence often is unrecognized by patients and their clinicians, according to DiMatteo, the study's lead author. "Patients often misunderstand the value of following medical recommendations accurately and physicians often overestimate patient adherence or cannot determine which patients are having adherence difficulties."

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Contact: Bettye Miller
bettye.miller@ucr.edu
951-827-7847
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

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