Objective: This article presents information on the important impact the lack of adherence to prescribed treatments has on the morbidity and mortality of asthma. After reading this article, readers should have an understanding of the significant role clinicians, as well as patients and their families, play in promoting adherence.
Data sources: A detailed literature search was conducted. Relevant studies were used. Only literature in the English language was reviewed.
Study selection: Material was taken from academic/scholarly publications, appropriate reviews, and published abstracts.
Results: Over the last decade, many researchers have examined ways to improve adherence to asthma therapy, including improving clinician-patient communication, educating the patient, and simplifying the treatment regimen. Nonadherence is a problem in pediatric and adolescent patients, whose needs are different from those of adult patients. Because proper technique is essential with metered-dose inhalers and peak flow meters, special efforts are required by clinicians to promote adherence to these devices.
Conclusions: Promoting adherence involves a good clinician-patient relationship, as well as provision of personalized, practical, and repeated education.