Good communication improves patient compliance

LEIPZIG, Germany — Compliance with treatment varies from patient to patient, but O&P practitioners can take several steps to improve compliance. The first step starts with communication, according to a speaker, here.

Gesine Grande

Prof Dr. Gesine Grande, HTWK Leipzig, spoke about the role of quality in health care and ways to improve patient compliance during her keynote address at the OT World Congress.

She described three concepts of quality of care. The first is the provision of services, and how care takes place through diagnostics, treatment and communication with the patient. The second is causality. In health care, treatment does not always achieve to the desired result, even for the most experienced practitioner and compliant patient, she said. The third considers the patient as a client in their own health care by assuming the active role of consumer, as the object of the health care process, and as a co-producer of the success of their treatment.

An O&P practitioner’s role in patient care is to “subjectively influence the progression of the disease. But at the end of the day, patients have to be compliant with the treatment protocol; they have to take their medication, and they have to wear their orthosis, or else the entire system won’t be successful,” Grande said.

Grande said patient treatment compliance is generally higher in patients with life-threatening disease, and adherence to orthopedic treatment protocols has been shown to be low in some studies. However, a patient’s self-assessment of their condition does not necessarily correlate with the degree of compliance.

“There may be such a heavy burden placed on them by the disease that they no longer have the power to change their own attitude and behavior toward compliance,” she said.

Good social support and family cohesion generally encourage better patient compliance, whereas patients living alone or those with interfamily conflicts have more difficulty adhering to treatment.

Grande said it is important physicians clearly communicate the goals of treatment, encourage patient efforts to improve, and do not assign blame.

“Even optimum medical care fails because of everyday life,” she said. “How you communicate with a patient in order to make it easier for the patient to implement the recommendations” improves overall compliance, Grande said. “Empower your patients.” — by Carey Cowles

For more information:

Grande G. Quality and compliance in patient treatment. Presented at: OT World Congress; May 12-16, 2014; Leipzig, Germany.

Disclosure: Grande has no relevant financial disclosures. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.