Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wikipedia Entry for Compliance (Medicine)

I was reading Todd Defren's PR Squared blog post today about Wikipedia, and if a company should or should not create an entry for themselves. It got me thinking more about Wikipedia, and using it as a go to source for information.

I do not use Wikipedia regularly, however I find increasingly useful for trivial information, such as who is Lonelygirl15, since I missed all the YouTube ballyhoo.

I think UGC (user generated content) is fantastic, however I do not think it is always an authoritative source. With that in mind, I looked up the my favorite terms: medication adherence, medication non-adherence, medication compliance and medication non-compliance. The only listing was Compliance (Medicine).

From the Wikipedia entry:

"Compliance (or Adherence) is a medical term that is used to indicate a patient's correct following of medical advice. Most commonly it is a patient taking medication (drug compliance), but may also apply to use of surgical appliances such as compression stockings, chronic wound care, self-directed physiotherapy exercises, or attending counselling or other courses of therapy.

Patients may not accurately report back to healthcare workers because fear of possible embarrassment, being chastised, or seeming to be ungrateful for a doctor's care.

Causes for poor compliance include:
• Forgetfulness
• Prescription not collected or not dispensed
• Purpose of treatment not clear
• Perceived lack of effect
• Real or perceived side-effects
• Instructions for administration not clear
• Physical difficulty in complying (e.g. opening medicine containers, handling small tablets, swallowing difficulties, travel to place of treatment)
• Unattractive formulation, such as unpleasant taste
• Complicated regimen
• Cost of drugs"

The listing goes on to discuss "Adherence: An estimated half of those for whom medicines are prescribed do not take them in the recommended way. Until recently this was termed "non-compliance", and was sometimes regarded as a manifestation of irrational behavior or willful failure to observe instructions, although forgetfulness is probably a more common reason. But today health care professionals prefer to talk about "adherence" to a regimen rather than "compliance"...."

And "Drug Compliance: It is estimated that only 50% of patients suffering from chronic diseases in developed countries follow treatment recommendations...."

And "Concordance: Concordance is a current UK NHS initiative to involve the patient in the treatment process and so improve compliance...."

Overall it is a great listing. Wikipedia (rather the authors & editors) address the causes, the percentage of patients who are non-adherent, and the differences between adherence and compliance and concordance.

I guess I will have to live the listing title: Compliance (Medicine).

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