PatientEngagementHIT: Understanding Mental Barriers to Patient Medication Adherence

By: Sara Heath, PatientEngagementHIT, May 12, 2017

Clinicians looking to improve medication adherence amongst their chronic illness populations should look beyond the external barriers patients face. Clinicians must also be aware of the emotional and behavioral barriers patients face, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Medication adherence is a core factor supporting chronic care management plans. Patients who do not take their prescribed medications face adverse health results and increased medical costs due to more system utilization. High medication non-adherence results in up to 125,000 deaths and $290 billion medical costs annually, the research team reported.

Clinicians must understand what is keeping a patient from taking her prescriptions to improve medication adherence rates. Much research has been done on both the external and mental barriers to taking medications, but little has been done to put either variable in the context of the other, the researchers said. Read more here.