Adhering to Medical Advice Chap 4
Issues with Adherance • 125,000 people in US may die to adherence issues • Page 77
Theories that Apply to Adherence Why do people fail to follow the advice of a health care provider? Several theoretical models that apply to behavior in general have also been applied to the problem of adherence and nonadherence.
Table 4.2Reasons Given by Patients for Not Complying with Medical Advice
Behavioral Theory The behavioral model of adherence is based on principles of operant conditioning, especially positive and negative reinforcement. With positive reinforcement, a positively valued stimulus is added to the situation, thus strengthening that behavior and increasing the probability that it will recur.
Behavioral Theory • With negative reinforcement, behavior is strengthened by the removal of an unpleasant or negatively valued stimulus. Both types of reinforcers strengthen behavior, whereas punishment inhibits or suppresses behavior. • Advocates of the behavioral model use cues, rewards, and contracts to reinforce compliant behaviors. Some research supports the effectiveness of this approach.
Behavioral Theory Advocates of the behavioral model use cues, rewards, and contracts to reinforce compliant behaviors. Some research supports the effectiveness of this approach.
Self-Efficacy Theory Bandura's social cognitive theory is a general theory of behavior that stresses the interaction of behavior, environment, and person factors, especially cognition. Bandura used the term reciprocal determinism to describe this model (see Figure 4.1).
Self-Efficacy Theory • An important component of the person factor is self-efficacy, or people's belief that they have the ability to perform specific behaviors that will lead to desired consequences. • For example, self-efficacy was the best predictor of adherence to an exercise rehabilitation program. • Research has generally supported the importance of self-efficacy in health-related behaviors, especially the two difficult behaviors of diet and smoking cessation.
Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior Ajzen and Fishbein's theory of reasoned action and Ajzen's theory of planned behavior both assume that the immediate determiner of behavior is people's intention to perform that behavior. The theory of reasoned action suggests that behavioral intentions, in turn, are
Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior • (1) a function of people's attitudes toward the behavior, which are determined by their beliefs that the behavior will lead to positively or negatively valued outcomes, and • (2) their subjective norm, which is shaped by their perception of the value that significant others place on that behavior and by their motivation to comply with those norms (see Chapter 3, Figure 3.1).
Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior • The theory of planned behavior includes an additional determinant of intentions to act, namely, people's perception of how much control they have over their behavior (see Chapter 3, Figure 3.2). Both theories have been used to predict adherence to a number of health-related behaviors.
Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior A meta-analysis of studies on the usefulness of the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior found that both theories had some value in predicting who will adhere to an exercise program and who will not, but these theories are only modestly successful
The Transtheoretical Model The transtheoretical model of James Prochaska and his colleagues assumes that people progress through five stages in making changes in behavior—precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance.
The Transtheoretical Model • The precontemplation stage precedes intention to change behavior, and people in this stage may fail to see that they have a problem. • The contemplation stage involves awareness of the problem and thoughts about changing behavior, but the person has not yet made an effort to change.
The Transtheoretical Model • The preparation stage includes both thoughts and action, with people in this stage making specific plans about change. The modification of behavior comes in the action stage, when people make overt changes in their behavior. • During the maintenance stage people try to sustain the changes they have made and to resist temptation to relapse (see Figure 4.2). People in these various stages need different types of assistance in making changes. Research on this theory has indicated that these stages of change apply to a variety of health-related behaviors.
Figure 4.2The transtheoretical model and stages of changing from a high-fat diet to a low-fat diet.
II. Issues in Adherence • Two conditions are necessary for medical advice to be beneficial; first, it must be accurate and second, it must be followed. A meta-analysis indicated a large difference in outcome for people who were adherent to their medication compared to those who were non-adherent.
A. What Is Adherence? • Because compliance connotes reluctant obedience, many psychologists prefer the terms adherence, cooperation, or collaboration.
A. What Is Adherence? • In an ideal world, the best definition of adherence would be cooperation, a word that implies a relationship in which both the health care provider and the consumer are actively involved in the restoration or the maintenance of the patient's health.
A. What Is Adherence? • However, cooperation is neither a common practice nor an accepted label for this relationship. The terms compliance and adherence are used interchangeably.
B. How Is Adherence Measured? • Researchers have used at least six methods to assess patient compliance: • (1) ask the clinician, • (2) ask the patient, • (3) ask other people, • (4) count pills, • (5) examine biochemical evidence • 6) combine two or more of these procedures.
B. How Is Adherence Measured? • All approaches have limitations, but the least valid method is to ask the clinician about rate of patient compliance.
C. How Frequent Is Nonadherence? • The rate of noncompliance to medical or health advice varies with a number of factors, but a meta-analysis of over 50 years of studies indicated that the average adherence rate was about 25%, but the rate was higher for some conditions such as HIV and arthritis but the rate was lower for conditions such as diabetes.
III. What Factors Predict Adherence? • Many factors that would logically seem to lead to compliance, such as severity of the disease, are in fact, poor predictors of adherence. discomfort.
III. What Factors Predict Adherence? • People with a serious disease are, in general, no more likely than people with a mild disease to seek medical treatment or to comply with medical advice.
III. What Factors Predict Adherence? • Although severity of the disease is a poor predictor of adherence, pain associated with the illness does seem to increase people's level of adherence. • When people suffer great pain, they have strong motivation to comply with treatments that might reduce their
A. Treatment Characteristics • Treatment characteristics include unpleasant side effects of the treatment and complexity of the treatment.
1. Side Effects of the Medication • Early research found little evidence to suggest that unpleasant side effects are a major reason for discontinuing a drug or dropping out of a treatment program.
1. Side Effects of the Medication • Recent research on taking drugs for HIV found that patients who experience severe side effects are less likely to take their medications than those with less severe side effects.
2. Complexity of the Treatment • In general, the greater the variety of medications a person must take, the greater the likelihood of nonadherence. • Doses that cannot be cued to meals or bedtime (such as four or five doses per day) result in lower compliance than those that can be cued to meals or bedtime. • In summary, the simpler and shorter the treatment schedule, the higher the level of adherence.
B. Personal Characteristics Five personal characteristics relate to patient compliance:
1. Age • Age shows a curvilinear relationship with adherence, with older and younger people showing lower adherence. Older individuals have more barriers to compliance because they tend to have more complex medication schedules. As they grow into adolescence, children with chronic conditions such as diabetes tend to become less compliant. • 2. Gender • Few overall differences exist in compliance rates for women and men, but women are more likely to adhere to a diet that includes fruits and vegetables. • 3. Personality Patterns • No single personality trait shows any consistent relationship to adherence. Rather, non-compliance is more closely related to situational factors.
4. Emotional Factors • Anxiety that is specific to the disease may improve compliance, but more general anxiety and stressful experiences tend to decrease adherence. Depression, however, presents a more serious problem for compliance. • 5. Personal Beliefs • When patients have high self-efficacy, they are more likely to adhere with medical recommendations. In addition, those who believe that they are personally responsible for their own health are more likely to be compliant.
C. Environmental Factors • Environmental factors exert an even larger effect on compliance than personal factors do.
1. Economic Factors • Income and socioeconomic status are important factors for health; those with more resources have advantages in access to health care and often have the education to understand the advantages of adherence.
2. Social Support • Social support is one of the strongest predictors of adherence. People with a network of friends and family are more likely to adhere to medical advice compared with people who lack social support. Also, married patients are more likely to be compliant than those who are not married.
D. Cultural Norms • Cultural beliefs and attitudes are related to compliance. Cultural traditions that are not consistent with Western medicine lead to lower compliance.
D. Cultural Norms • Cultural factors and ethnicity may also influence how patients are treated; when Hispanic American and African American patients feel discriminated against, their compliance rates are not as high as when they feel treated with respect.
E. Practitioner-Patient Interaction • Although personal characteristics are only marginally predictive of compliance, the relationship between patient and practitioner is a relatively strong indicator of patient adherence. • This factor includes verbal communication and the practitioner's personal characteristics (as perceived by the patient).
1. Verbal Communication • Perhaps the best predictor of patient compliance is the quality of communication between practitioner and patient. Physicians often begin their report with a diagnosis, which is likely to interfere with the patient's understanding of any advice that follows. Patients either fail to remember or misunderstand about half the information they hear.
1. Verbal Communication • Patients are most likely to comply when they receive reasons for their particular treatment as well as information about their illness. Health care professionals can improve adherence by giving information about the disease and about specific treatment requirements.
2. The Practitioner's Personal Characteristics • Patients' compliance improves when they see their providers as warm, caring, friendly, and interested in their welfare. On the other hand, when patients perceive practitioners as authoritarian or uncaring, adherence decreases.
2. The Practitioner's Personal Characteristics • Female practitioners generally exhibit more friendly behaviors, listen better and longer, and make more partner statements, all of which are positively related to high rates of adherence. \
IV. Improving Adherence • Failures to adhere to medical advice are common, making the goal of improving adherence an urgent one.
A. What Are the Barriers to Adherence? • Failures in adherence occur for a variety of reasons. • Following a doctor's advice is complicated by a number of factors, such as not correctly hearing that advice, failing to understand the advice, seeing the regimen as too difficult, time-consuming, or expensive, and stopping medication when the symptoms go away.