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Strategies to improve compliance with therapy

  • John A. Sbarbaro
    Correspondence
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. John A. Sbarbaro, Denver Department of Health and Hospitals, 605 Bannock Street, Denver, Colorado 80204.
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, City and County of Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA
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      Abstract

      The failure of patients to comply with their therapeutic regimen has an extensive impact on the costs and strategies of medical care. Compliance with long-term regimens can be improved by linking the timing of the medication to existing daily habits, reducing the number of times that a medication is to be taken each day, and identifying the side effects that a patient attributes to the treatment. In addition, providing written instructions, shortening the duration of therapy, and periodically evaluating compliance by determining drug serum levels can reduce non-compliant behavior. The establishment of a strong patient/physician relationship is central to long-term therapeutic success.
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