Interventional tools to improve medication adherence: review of literature

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015 Sep 14;9:1303-14. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S87551. eCollection 2015.


Medication adherence and persistence is recognized as a worldwide public health problem, particularly important in the management of chronic diseases. Nonadherence to medical plans affects every level of the population, but particularly older adults due to the high number of coexisting diseases they are affected by and the consequent polypharmacy. Chronic disease management requires a continuous psychological adaptation and behavioral reorganization. In literature, many interventions to improve medication adherence have been described for different clinical conditions, however, most interventions seem to fail in their aims. Moreover, most interventions associated with adherence improvements are not associated with improvements in other outcomes. Indeed, in the last decades, the degree of nonadherence remained unchanged. In this work, we review the most frequent interventions employed to increase the degree of medication adherence, the measured outcomes, and the improvements achieved, as well as the main limitations of the available studies on adherence, with a particular focus on older persons.

Keywords: chronic diseases; cognitive impairment; compliance; elderly; nonadherence; tools.

Publication types

  • Review