Définir la notion d’observance thérapeutique

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Adherence is the degree with which patients follow medical instructions (Sabate, 2001), a sort of balance between prescription and use. When applied to chronic diseases, the World Health Organization (2003) proposes the following definition: “the extent to which the behavior of a person to take medication, follow a diet and / or change in lifestyle match recommendations agreed with a health professional. “The patient should be involved as well in the lines requested by a health professional (entry and continuation of the treatment program, followed instructions and visits, taking proper treatment and health products, as recommended change lines of life). Unfortunately, only 50% of patients are chronically ill observant (World Health Organization, 2006).

Determinants of adherence

There is no current evidence that personality, age or social class modifies adherence. However, good communication between a healthcare professional and a user will influence it, it is called therapeutic alliance. Treatment costs, access to care, beliefs about the effectiveness of treatments will influence adherence.


Haynes RB, Ackloo E, Sahota N, McDonald HP, Yao X (2008). Interventions for enhancing medication adherence. Cochrane Database Systematic Review, 16, CD000011.

Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (2006). Prévention des maladies chroniques: un investissement capital. Genève: OMS Editions.

Sabate E (2001). WHO adherence meeting report. Geneva : WHO organisation.

World Health Organisation (2003). Adherence to long-term therapies: evidence for action. Geneva: WHO Edition.

To reference this Blog en Sante © article

Ninot G (2014). Definition of compliance. Blog en Sante, L24.

© Copyright 2013 Grégory Ninot. All rights reserved.