Purpose: To explore the published evidence on the link between treatment satisfaction and patients' compliance, adherence, and/or persistence.
Methods: Articles published from January 2005 to November 2010 assessing compliance, adherence, or persistence and treatment satisfaction were identified through literature searches in Medline, Embase, and PsycInfo. Abstracts were reviewed by two independent researchers who selected articles for inclusion. The main attributes of each study examining the link between satisfaction and adherence, compliance, or persistence were summarized.
Results: The database searches yielded 1278 references. Of the 281 abstracts that met the inclusion criteria, 20 articles were retained. In the articles, adherence and compliance were often used interchangeably and various methods were used to measure these concepts. All showed a positive association between treatment satisfaction and adherence, compliance, or persistence. Sixteen studies demonstrated a statistically significant link between satisfaction and compliance or persistence. Of these, ten demonstrated a significant link between satisfaction and compliance, two showed a significant link between satisfaction and persistence, and eight demonstrated a link between either a related aspect or a component of satisfaction (eg, treatment convenience) or adherence (eg, intention to persist). An equal number of studies aimed at explaining compliance or persistence according to treatment satisfaction (n = 8) and treatment satisfaction explained by compliance or persistence (n = 8). Four studies only reported correlation coefficients, with no hypothesis about the direction of the link. The methods used to evaluate the link were varied: two studies reported the link using descriptive statistics, such as percentages, and 18 used statistical tests, such as Spearman's correlation or logistic regressions.
Conclusion: This review identified few studies that evaluate the statistical association between satisfaction and adherence, compliance, or persistence. The available data suggested that greater treatment satisfaction was associated with better compliance and improved persistence, and with lower regimen complexity or treatment burden.
Keywords: adherence; compliance; persistence; treatment satisfaction.