Practical strategies for enhancing adherence to treatment regimen in inflammatory bowel disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2013 Jun;19(7):1534-45. doi: 10.1097/MIB.0b013e3182813482.


Promoting adherence to treatment among pediatric and adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a critical yet challenging task for health care providers. Several existing interventions to enhance adherence among individuals with IBD offer useful information about practical strategies to enhance adherence. The current review article has 3 goals. First, the review provides a context for understanding treatment regimen adherence in IBD by reviewing key definitional, measurement, and conceptual challenges in this area. Next, published studies focused on interventions to enhance adherence in IBD are briefly summarized, followed by a synthesis of practical adherence promotion strategies for use in IBD by health care providers. Strategies are distinguished by the level of evidence supporting their utility as well as by age group. Finally, recommendations for future research to facilitate the development and implementation of practical, evidence-based strategies for adherence promotion in IBD are provided. Findings from the literature review suggest that strategies including education, regimen simplification, and use of reminder systems and organizational strategies (e.g., pill boxes) are likely to be best suited for addressing accidental nonadherence. In contrast, addressing motivational issues, teaching problem-solving skills, and addressing problematic patterns of family functioning are more likely to benefit individuals displaying intentional nonadherence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Prognosis
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha