Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Book

Patient Adherence to Medical Treatment Regimens: Bridging the Gap Between Behavioral Science and Biomedicine

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 12 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1155
  1. Emilio J Sanz, senior lecturer in clinical pharmacology (
  1. Tenerife, Spain

    The first three chapters of this book rather dramatically present the over-whelming evidence that most patients do not usually follow most of their prescriptions and treatment recommendations. In theory this poses serious risks of ineffectiveness and harm—for example, rejection in transplant recipients because of insufficient immunosuppressant treatment. A huge amount of research has failed to find any good indicators for compliance. Perhaps most of the studies were too simple or lacked an adequate theoretical foundation, but the result today is that the expectation that a patient will “comply” is misplaced and that measures to improve compliance are based more on common sense or goodwill than on evidence.

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    Alan J Christensen

    Yale University Press, £27.50, pp 165 ISBN 0 300 10349 2

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    Alan Christensen and his …

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