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Patient Adherence and Treatment Outcomes

Desmond | Lead Clinician

Mar-14-2022 | Physiology

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In as much as it is important for doctors to grasp the complexity involved in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), patient-role is fundamental in a successful management of COPD. The symptoms and the disease course vary by patient, and thus, clinicians as well as patients, owe it a duty to effectively manage COPD symptoms and overall disease progression. It is also the role of every clinician to recognize key barriers to the effective management of COPD. One of the commonest challenges encountered is patient adherence to treatment. 

As stated, COPD management doesn’t involve a single trajectory and patients may struggle with treatment adherence because of this reason. As treatment requirements change, patients may be expected to visit new providers to continue their treatment, they may opt to stop treatment in an attempt to reduce cost and save money when faced with the choice.

In an event when treatment requirements expand, patients may feel overwhelmed by the challenges associated with the coordination of their care. Following on with which specialist to visit, the number of times, and even how accessible the locations are may be a little frustrating. These culmination of factors may cause the patient to pursue only some treatments. 

The patient’s understanding of disease course and expectations, also play a significant role in treatment adherence. If the patient is not very satisfied with treatment effects due to limited signs of improvement, side effects, or even slower rate of improvement, they may change their approach to treatment. 

Lastly, treatment nonadherence could also occur when the patient experiences improvements. If the treatment appears to be working, the patients may choose by themselves no longer to continue with current regimen since they may not have a full understanding of the need for completion of specific components of a treatment regimen.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as the substitute for the medical advice of a physician.