Adhesion or therapeutics adherence

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines it as compliance with the health recommendations that the patient considers, after being prescribed by the health professionals who attends them. It is an active and intentional commitment of the patients to achieve the improvement of their health status.

The adherence to a treatment is a variable that depends on your behavior.

It is altered by your own way of thinking about your illness, the importance you give to it, the environment in which you live, your own opinion about the disease and your personal beliefs, if you get worried, it matters… Suffering a disease depends on the seriousness and also how it affects your relationships in your family environment or your expectations in work and social life.

Patient adherence to their treatment is a critical factor in achieving and maintaining control of the disease. A more accurate control is not possible without the active participation of the patient.

  • Learning to manage the disease is vital in the face of a crisis, as well as taking your medicines and your exercise plan…

  • Learning about environment control.

    “How is the weather today? Having an active life is essential, leaving home warm or not, atmospheric pressure makes me feel worse, I stay at home these days …“

    “I do not sleep well without oxygen support.”

    “Pollution or ventilation impacts my breathing.”

  • A regular monitoring of your disease.

  • If I follow a health care plan, I can easily learn and begin to understand what is good for me on a daily basis and write down how I am, sharing enough useful information to an educator who understands it, helps me and offers me better guidance.

  • I begin to accept that I have a disease but l will try to reduce the impact on my life as much as possible. I learn another way to live with it and I try to overcome the difficulties that involves adjusting to this new chapter of my life.

Long-term adherence to treatment usually does not exceed 50% in chronic patients with complex conditions. But if a patient and the professionals in charge work together this aspect, better results can be obtained.

There are studies that show that more than 60% of patients with COPD do not comply with their pharmacological treatment, while in the case of asthma the numbers vary between 30 and 70%.

  • Costes:
    • Uso de tratamientos más caros
    • Mayor absentismo escolar o laboral
    • Aumento del uso de los recursos sanitarios
  • They are chronic and complex diseases that affect various systems of our body.
  • Comorbidities: more than one disease e.g. COPD and Diabetes or heart disease
  • Polypharmacy: Multiple medications with side effects.
  • Stable and worsening periods in symptoms
  • Need to take medication in periods without symptoms.
  • Periods of depression, anxiety
  • Patients who do not recognize or want to recognize the severity of the disease.
  • Poor relationship between the doctor and the patient.

The lack of adherence will have consequences for all those involved, in the case of respiratory diseases we can find the following:

  • For patients:
    • Worst disease control:
      • Bad control of symptoms
      • Most frequent use of rescue medication
      • Increased exacerbations risks
      • Highest mortality rate
    • Greater use of health resources:
      • Visits to doctors and emergencies
      • Hospitalizations
      • Intensive Care Unit admissions.
    • Worsening of the quality of life related to health.
    • Increased mortality risk.
  • For the doctor:
    • Wrong Assessment of the treatment’s effectiveness.
    • Unnecessary tests
    • Unnecessary increase in medications dosage
    • Use of aggressive therapeutic measures that would not be necessary with a good the disease control.
  • Costs:
    • Use of more expensive treatments.
    • Higher school or work absenteeism.
    • Increase of health resources use.

There are many tools especially with the advantage of technology and communication that help us improve this situation.

The HappyAir model makes these resources available to patients, healthcare professionals, therapists and family members, who wish to improve their personal health and knowledge situation, where we measure adherence and monitor its evolution.