To support healthcare professionals in improving adherence, a series of articles has been developped to provide digestible learning resources around the role behavior science plays in adherence, including practical insights relating to therapy areas. The articles provide a useful companion to a series of masterclasses where the subjects of adherence and behavioral science are explored in more depth.

Latest articles

HCPs in deep discussion while pointing to an iPad

Looking into the Crystal-ball: Advances in technology for improving adherence

Current technological interventions focus either on reminding the patient or on tracking the pill removal from the packaging. However, they do not address the actual act of taking the medicine1. The ingestible sensors or trackable pills have marked a technological revolution in the area of medication adherence. In addition, motion-sensor-based wearables are likely will mark…

General Topics
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Measuring adherence – an “Achilles heel” in medication adherence

Adherence measurement is a complex task, which can be performed through various direct and indirect methods Each method has its advantages and limitations with no universal consensus on a gold standard technique The use of combinatorial methods might offer the best solution. Further, there is a need to optimize techniques for different populations as well…

General Topics
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Technological advancements and innovations to improve medication adherence

Medication non-adherence is an important challenge that leads to suboptimal treatment outcomes1. Using innovative technologies in interventions can help in combating this issue. Smart interventions specifically concerning packaging, monitoring, record keeping, and reminding medication are now available and can significantly improve patients’ medication adherence2. Medication adherence defined as the extent to which a patient’s behavior…

General Topics
Recovery is a collective process. Awareness and timely help are important.

Challenges to medication adherence for morbidities during menopause

•   The significant milestone of menopause is associated with the risk of weight gain, poor bone health, chronic diseases, and cancers1,6,9, 11, 12 •   Medication adherence during menopause is poor. The primary barriers are enhanced menopause symptoms and multimorbidity fuelled by poor psychological health17, 20, 24. Risk of morbidities during menopause Menopause is a natural…

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Healthcare practitioners: A potential springboard for adherence success

Healthcare practitioners (HCPs) are uniquely positioned to deliver medication adherence interventions1. Communication between HCPs and patient is inadequate2. Enabling HCPs with the required skill-set is pivotal1. Improving adherence to medications requires a collaborative team effort from health care professionals3,4. Optimum disease management requires taking medication in the required dosage at the right time as advised…

General Topics
Healthcare practitioners absorbed in a discussion

Prescription costs are key to non-adherence: Can generics help?

Prescription costs are a potent driver for non-adherence to medication1-3. Generic substitution of prescriptions is key to lowering the out-of-pocket costs of medications4-6. Distrust in generic medications needs to be addressed to encourage their usage and reduce cost-related non-adherence7.   Cost-related non-adherence (CRNA): Cost of medicines is an overriding issue for adherence to the treatment…

General Topics
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Non-adherence to immunosuppressants in organ transplant patients

Non-adherence to medication remains a barrier to long-term graft survival in the life of solid organ transplant patients1,2. The major risk factors for non-adherence include income, complex regimen, employment status, minority race, illness perception, and mental health2,3.  Multicomponent interventions tailored to the need of patients appear to be most effective in lowering non-adherence to immunosuppressants4.…

General Topics
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Severe psychiatric disorders: causes & interventions for medication non-adherence

The key challenges to medication adherence for patients with severe psychotic disorders include -medication side effects, complexity, and duration as well as patient’s insights, beliefs, social stigma, and lack of support1. Psychoeducation, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and motivational interviewing are the typically used strategies to improve adherence2. The digital medicine system is a novel and…

Central Nervous System
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Adherence in Asthma – a victim of the episodic nature of the disease

Asthma is characterized by its episodic and unpredictable nature1. Inhalation therapy – the standard treatment of care – is not optimally adhered to by patients. The key barriers are unawareness, misconceptions, unaffordability, inaccessibility, and associated stigma1,2. Tracking adherence in asthma is also a considerable challenge. However, the upcoming smart technologies like the use of Smart-inhalers…

General Topics
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Oral therapies for cancer: a boon for treatment and bane for adherence

Oral therapies have revolutionized cancer treatment with their ease of administration. However, they are prone to non-adherence as drugs are administered by patients away from health care settings1. Cancer therapies are now akin to treatments for chronic ailments, lasting for several years. Therefore, the medication adherence barriers that pertain to chronic disease have become significant…

General Topics
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Pill reminders: Addressing non-adherence owing to forgetfulness

“You can look for external sources of motivation and that can catalyze a change, but it won’t sustain one. It has to be from internal desire.” – Jillian Michaels Medication adherence is defined by the World Health Organization as “the degree to which the person’s behavior corresponds with the agreed recommendations from a health care…

General Topics
Three healthcare practitioners in deep discussion.

Covid-19 as a teacher: Lessons learned in medication adherence

The covid-19 pandemic was catastrophic for healthcare infrastructure and it has highlighted the deficiencies in the system1. Medication non-adherence soared during the pandemic because of virus containment measures that led to disruption in healthcare services, breakdown of support network, financial constraints, and enhancement of psychological issues 2 Identifying the vulnerable, strengthening health infrastructure, and use…

General Topics
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Culture, food, and defiance of medical advice in cardiovascular care

Cardiovascular diseases are primarily lifestyle-associated illnesses stemming from unhealthy food choices and limited physical activity. This is further aided by our genetic predisposition toward clogging the arteries with fats1. Culture determines our food habits and shapes our beliefs and value systems. Often what we love to eat and have learned to believe are at loggerheads…

Cardio Metabolic
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Improving medication adherence through a collaborative approach with the CfBI Medical Adherence and Digital Health consortium

Abbott is proud to work with CfBI Medical Adherence and Digital Health consortium, which brings together powerful stakeholders and decision makers from across healthcare encompassing organizations from the pharmaceutical, pharmacy, contract research, technology, patient advocacy, insurance, and health care professional sectors – advised by leading academics. This is taking a collaborative pan industry approach to…

General Topics

The COM-B framework and its use in explaining non-adherence

A comprehensive framework for the assessment of adherence is needed Non-adherence is multi-faceted. Systematic reviews have suggested many reasons why patients may not adhere to their treatments.1 Some of these may be modifiable, such as patient understanding of their condition and the support available to them, and others may be fixed (such as the age…


Patient Support Programs: personalized digital adherence support

What are PSPs? Patient Support Programs are specifically designed to help patients in understanding their condition and taking medications directly. They can range from simple interventions such as the provision of pill boxes, to more complex solutions, for example organized programs with their roots in behavioral science theory.1,2 Whereas healthcare professionals may only have time-limited…


Tools for the assessment of adherence

Quantitative methods can be used to characterize health behavior Measures and survey tools are useful mechanisms to gain an understanding of health behavior, thereby providing effective support to patients in managing their own conditions. Surveys and questionnaires are simple to implement at the point of care and acceptable to patients. Outputs can then be used…


Behavioral approaches to changing adherence

Key Messages Commonly used behavior-change strategies Commonly used behavioral change techniques may not always be the most effective methods  of changing behavior.1 For example, presenting threatening information may not have the desired effect on behavior. In the context of adherence, the evidence that simply telling a patient that they must take their medication (i.e. only…