Adherence / Compliance with Treatment

Below is a very simplified and general explanation of adherence/compliance with treatment issues. You may experience some or all of these things or your experience may be different. You are welcome to contact us to discuss whether what you are experiencing is an adherence/compliance issue and what we can do to help. 

When we have a physical health issue and we attend a hospital or clinic, a doctor or health professional will give us advice on what to do about it based on their expert knowledge. We tend to accept this and want to put their advice into practice but sometimes that is easier said than done.

Knowing that something is a good idea often isn’t enough to make us do things about it, or at least to keep doing things about it. For example, we all know we should eat a healthy diet, exercise, drink enough water, limit caffeine and alcohol and so on but knowing this doesn’t make us all follow it all of the time. There are lots of adverts on TV about diets, joining gyms and so on. These are designed to remind us that these things are a good idea and have benefits for our physical health. They are also designed to give us a way of following our own knowledge that we should take care of our physical health. The reason there are so many adverts like this, however, is that we still don’t all do these things all of the time, something is still missing.

It can be really frustrating to know that you have a physical health issue, to know that there are things you could do about it but to be struggling to put these into practice. It can also be really frustrating to see someone you love in this situation, particularly if it is your child and you know that there may be long term effects of the physical health issue if they do not follow the advice of the healthcare teams but you are struggling to get them to take action.

Often what is missing is true motivation to take action. Most people think that knowing about the health condition and it’s treatment coupled with the threat of worsening health if we don’t act will be enough to make people follow the treatment advice but that’s not what happens if you start asking them if they’ve had their ‘five-a-day’, drank enough water or exercised enough today. Our Psychologists have specific training in evidence based approaches to increase motivation and therefore adherence/compliance with treatments.