Person-centered medicine and chronic disease: the role of interdisciplinary education and treatment adherence

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Cathy Boyle
Gerardus Post
Philip Masel
Paul Fulbrook
Kevin Clark
Grad Cert


Rationale, aims and objectives: There is some evidence that a brief training program is effective in developing clinicians’ skills, knowledge and attitudes when dealing with non-adherence with medications. The purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate a one-day training program aimed at improving clinicians’ awareness and responsiveness to clients with poor treatment adherence.Method: Forty two participants completed a one-day training program. Using a workshop format, the program was focused on the use of motivational interviewing as a primary strategy which encouraged participants not only to listen but to understand the client’s perspective concerning treatment adherence. Several measures concerning treatment adherence knowledge, beliefs about medicines, therapeutic tasks, therapeutic optimism and satisfaction with training were used to assess the effectiveness of the program. These measures were applied immediately pre- and post-program and on follow-up at four weeks.Results: There was a significant increase in the adherence knowledge and skills of the participating clinicians’ post-program, which although reduced at one-month follow-up, was still above pre-program knowledge. The results also showed an increase in the therapeutic tasks.Conclusion: Promoting treatment adherence is a pivotal part of clinicians’ work in reducing the burden of chronic disease. These results suggest that a one-day program is effective in improving clinicians’ knowledge, attitude and skills regarding treatment adherence. However, further research is needed to measure sustained improvement of clinicians’ knowledge and the outcomes this may have on clients’ adherence.

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