Treatment Burden and Treatment Fatigue as Barriers to Health

Curr Opin Psychol. 2015 Oct 1:5:31-36. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.03.004.


Effective management of chronic diseases involves sustained changes in health behavior, which often requires substantial effort and patient burden. As treatment burden is associated with reduced adherence across several chronic conditions, its assessment and treatment are important clinical priorities. The balance between patient demands and capacity (e.g., coping resources) may be indexed by patients' subjective experience of treatment fatigue. We present a modified workload-capacity model that incorporates evidence that treatment fatigue may 1) be caused by increased workload due to treatment burden (e.g., intensity, complications) and 2) undermine adherence. Emerging technology-based interventions may be well-suited to reduce treatment burden, prevent treatment fatigue, and increase treatment adherence.