Introduction to Patient Compliance & Noncompliance
What are the chances that anyone interested enough in patient noncompliance to track down this web site doesn’t already have a sense of the prevalence, costs, and extent of the phenomenon? After all, the prototypical publication on this topic opens with (1) a paragraph or two of such facts & figures, (2) that quotation from Hippocrates warning physicians to “keep watch also on the faults of the patients which often make them lie about the taking of things prescribed” (occasionally replaced by or supplemented by C. Everett Koop’s observation that “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them”), and (3) the obligatory critique lamenting the authoritarian physician-passive patient connotations of the ubiquitously used term, “compliance,” which is itself followed by the author’s declaration that this same term, however loathsome, will, regrettably, be used throughout the article because it is pervasive among and recognized by clinicians.
Nonetheless, I’ve listed a few nuggets of such information, if for no other reason than to establish my bona fides. Besides, someone unfamiliar with the material might stumble across the web site or somebody else might need a few illustrative figures for a presentation – or someone might be tracking down the Hippocrates quote to use in that next article.
Ideally, however, this data can help shape a perspective for pragmatically conceptualizing and thinking about patient noncompliance.
- Direct Consequences & Costs
- The Hidden Damage
- Special Case: Medical Research