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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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Promoting treatment adherence

Promoting treatment adherence

Chapter:
(p.303) Chapter 26 Promoting treatment adherence
Source:
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
Author(s):

Kelly B Haskard

M Robin DiMatteo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.003.0026

Patient adherence (also termed compliance or concordance) involves the degree to which a patient carries out, correctly and completely, the medical regimen recommended by the patient's health professional. The regimen can involve medications, screenings, appointment-keeping, dietary management, and/or other treatments and life-style changes. Persistence refers to following a course of treatment for the entire period of time it is prescribed. In the context of cancer care, patients may be required to adhere to adjuvant hormonal therapy, faithfully attend all chemotherapy or radiation appointments, appear for regular follow-up screenings, and/or make recommended changes in diet and exercise patterns. This chapter discusses the importance of adherence, as well as the reasons why adherence may be difficult for cancer patients; the value of providers' awareness of their patients' non-adherence, and their open discussion and collaboration to help their patients achieve adherence; and the communication process that facilitates adherence. It also delineates specific strategies within healthcare provider-patient communication that can be used to promote adherence.

Keywords:   patient adherence, cancer patients, communication, non-adherence, cancer, treatment, cancer care

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