Concordance, compliance, preference or adherence
Sunderland Eye Infirmary, Sunderland, UK
The realization that patients do not always do what their doctor recommends has led to a whole area of research looking into why this is so and how to counteract it. If we assume that the practitioner is right (an area of research in itself, of course!), then how do we get the patient to follow that advice? If you have high blood pressure, but don’t take the tablets is this remiss or empowering? Are you ignoring your health needs or taking control of them?
As always, definitions are necessary so that everyone knows they are talking about the same thing. Medication-taking behavior has now spawned a lexicon of terms that are useful in the research setting, but lead to confusion outside of it. What is the difference between concordance and compliance, or between adherence and persistence?
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