Non- Adherence– the hidden epidemic


Globally, millions of medications prescriptions are issued every day. But the majority people do not take their medications as prescribed. As a result, it causes huge amount of unnecessary physical and emotional suffering, financial loss, and premature deaths.

This hidden epidemic ” Non-Adherence” or call it “the silent killer” requires more attention at time when world stage is taken over by SARS-CoVid

Table of Contents

What is non-adherence?

Non-Adherence is defined as the non-conformity and discontinuity of the prescribed line of treatment as recommended by the health-care provider. 

With treatments aimed to cure a certain specific ailment, patients often have difficulty adhering to the required routine. This non-adherence becomes a significant issue when people with chronic diseases tend to overlook its impact. 

Along with the treatment of underlying disease, protection and prevention of coronavirus infection demands great attention.  With this, it leads to worsening of an existing condition and even premature death. It is a serious behavioral problem, which, with creating awareness about associated risk, can be solved.

Generally, patients do not discontinue their treatments intentionally. It is often caused by carelessness, forgetfulness, or the inability of overcoming the inertia of following a new habit. However, a patient might intentionally choose to deviate from a treatment regimen. It is termed as intentional non-adherence. 

What are major  factor contributors to non-adherence ?

The factors which act as major contributors to non-adherence include:

Provider-Patient/Health Care System

A good relationship between the patient and health care provider, which features encouragement and reinforcement from the provider, has a positive impact on adherence Poor or lack of communication concerning the benefits, instructions for use, and side effects of medications can also contribute to non adherence.

Social/Economic Factors

People who have social support from family, friends, or caregivers to assist with medication regimens have better adherence to treatment. Unstable living environments, limited access to health care, lack of financial resources, cost of medication, and burdensome work schedules have all been associated with decreased adherence rates.

Therapy-Related Factors

The complexity of the medication regimen, which includes the number of medications and number of daily doses required; duration of therapy; therapies that are inconvenient or interfere with a person’s lifestyle and side effects have been associated with decreased adherence.

Patient-Related Factors

Physical impairments and cognitive limitations may increase the risk for nonadherence in older adults. Lack of knowledge about the disease and the reasons medication is needed, lack of motivation, low self-efficacy, and substance abuse are associated with poor medication adherence.

Condition-Related Factors

Long term drugs administration for many chronic illnesses and adherence to such treatment regimens often declines significantly over time. This often happens when patients have few or no symptoms and the absence of them is a barrier for people to take their medication. It is important for the patient to understand the illness and what will happen if it is not treated.

Adherence is treatment is a primary determinant of the treatment success. Non-adherence not only affects the patients but also increases the avoidable cost of the healthcare industries across the world. It reduces the overall effectiveness of healthcare systems. 

Thus, it is essential that health systems must evolve to meet these challenges. Identifying specific barriers for each patient and adopting suitable techniques to overcome them will be necessary to improve medication adherence. Reducing follow-up charges, prescribing cost-effective treatment can help the patient overcome the cost barrier. 

To assist patients overcome mental stigma or queries with the ineffectiveness of treatment, consultation and counselling can prove beneficial.

During this difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic, it becomes more important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and adhere to the existing line of treatment, if any. Incorporating preventive measures in the health-routine can be useful to prevent infection from coronavirus. 

Adhering to the safety rules of prevention is must:


  • wear personal protective equipment such as mask, gloves, and shields;
  • follow hand-hygiene with soap & water; if not available, with hand-sanitizer
  • maintain social distance

Medical adherence accompanied by a balanced routine of diet, exercise, and adequate sleep. 

For individuals who require help with continuing a specific routine, the following tips can be useful:


  • Prepare a to-do list for the day incorporating:
  • The priority tasks for the day,
  • Creating time-schedule for taking medications,
  • Taking breaks for yourself.
  • Optimize your mind and body by following healthy eating habits and meditating.
  • Nowadays, many health-oriented applications have come up to track routine and health habits. Set alarms or use these apps to track the tasks for which you are forgetful.

Following these steps will help you establish a daily routine for yourself, especially the treatment regime. 

Medication non-adherence is an enormous problem that is still largely unaddressed by the healthcare system, but it’s not totally out of our control.  Taking proper medications on time and in the manner prescribed by the healthcare provider, followed by healthy lifestyle changes can help cure the disease. This way, you will not only cure yourself but also provide a gift of health to your family as well.

Choosing the right hospital is one of the most important decisions you make in your medical treatment journey. Mozocare, helps you in making the right decision. A care manager is 24×7 available to answer your questions or to be there with you if you would just like to talk. 

Have a question ?

If you have any questions about hospital and treatment

Contact for Second Opinion or Free Counselling

Call +1 (302) 451 9218