Episode 5 - Recognizing and Addressing Factors Related to Nonadherence

During this segment, Maria Lopes, MD, MS, explains that cost is not the only factor that is associated with treatment nonadherence in patients with diabetes and obesity. Dr Lopes notes that cost is usually number 3 on the list of reasons why patients do not take medicine as prescribed.

Dr Lopes explains that nonadherence is multifactorial; other factors that contribute to nonadherence include the development of troublesome side effects, denial of the disease diagnosis, healthcare disparities, and psychosocial issues including depression. She notes the importance of individualized treatment.

Yehuda Handelsman, MD, FACP, FACE, FNLA, discusses the relationship between adherence and overall outcomes. He explains that poor adherence rates have been associated with poor outcomes for patients in several disease categories including diabetes.

Dr Handelsman emphasizes the need to improve patient adherence and highlights the results of a published study that determined that 33% of patients never visit the pharmacy to fill a prescription.

To address patient nonadherence issues, Dr Lopes believes that regardless of treatment response or the success rates of pharmacotherapy options, patients need to receive continued support from healthcare professionals.

Kari Uusinarkaus, MD, FAAFP, FNLA, further explains how health literacy is related to adherence, and suggests that physicians need to speak to patients on a level that patients can understand.

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