Research shows that many people fail to follow the recommendations when taking their medications. Patients often struggle with complex regimens involving multiple medications, varying dosages, and specific administration instructions. This can lead to confusion resulting in people taking the wrong medication.
Many patients encounter difficulties in establishing consistent medication routines. Busy lives, distractions and memory lapses can cause patients to forget or miss doses, compromising the efficacy of their treatment.
Patients may not understand the purpose, potential side effects, or proper administration of their medications, leading to uncertainty and hesitation. Concerns about unpleasant side effects or perceived risks can cause apprehension and reluctance, leading patients to discontinue or modify their medications.
Many healthcare workers would benefit from a medication administration course as this would help them understand the issues around managing medication at home. Providers such as Tidal Training offer this kind of training.
You can read in more depth about the complications of non-compliance here: Here are some strategies to improve medication adherence and address the challenges mentioned above.
Enhance patient education
It is important to invest time in providing comprehensive patient education about prescribed medications. The purpose, expected benefits, potential side effects and any necessary precautions need to be explained.
It should also be remembered that circumstances and needs will differ. Treatment plans should be tailored to accommodate a patient’s lifestyle, preferences, and socioeconomic factors. There should be collaboration with patients to develop realistic medication routines that fit into their daily lives.
Use technology and reminders
Encourage patients to use medication reminder apps, alarm systems, or other technology-based tools to help them stick to their medication routine. Digital reminders can be particularly effective for those prone to forgetfulness or who lead busy lives.
Promote an environment of open communication where patients feel comfortable discussing any concerns. Actively listen to patients and provide reassurance when needed. Emphasise the importance of seeking professional advice before modifying or discontinuing medications.
By understanding the barriers to adherence and implementing tailored strategies, medication management at home can be enhanced, improving treatment outcomes and patient well-being.