Approaches to patient education: emphasizing the long-term value of compliance and persistence.
Approximately 50% of patients with chronic disease do not obtain optimal clinical benefit from treatment because of poor compliance with medication regimens. Lack of compliance is associated with poor clinical outcomes, increased hospitalizations, lower quality of life, and higher overall healthcare costs. Although poor compliance and persistence are common across many disease states, they may be particularly poor in treatment for asymptomatic chronic diseases such as osteoporosis. Patient education has been demonstrated to significantly improve compliance with medication across a broad range of conditions and disease severities. In a study in which patients received educational materials, referral for bone densitometry, and physician consultation, 67% were compliant with treatment after 6 months. Patient satisfaction with treatment has been linked to compliance with therapy; by improving patient care through fulfilling expectations for physician visits and providing frequent feedback, the healthcare provider can dramatically improve compliance. Self-management programs focusing on day-to-day management of chronic diseases have been shown to significantly improve heath behaviors and health status. Regardless of the strategy used, attention must be directed to identifying the patients least likely to persist with treatment and to providing the education and support these patients need to adhere to osteoporosis therapy.
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