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Factors associated with the accuracy of physicians’ predictions of patient adherence
Patient Education and Counseling (2011)
  • L. Alison Phillips, Rutgers University
  • Elaine A. Leventhal, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Howard Leventhal, Rutgers University
Physicians are inaccurate in predicting non-adherence in patients, a problem that interferes with physicians’: (1) appropriate prescribing decisions and (2) effective prevention/intervention of non-adherence. The purpose of the current study is to investigate potential reasons for the poor accuracy of physicians’ adherence–predictions and conditions under which their predictions may be more accurate.

After the medical encounter, predictions of patient-adherence and other ratings from primary-care physicians (n = 24) regarding patient-factors that may have influenced their predictions were collected. Patients (n = 288) rated their agreement regarding the prescribed treatment after the encounter and reported adherence 1 month later.

Several factors were related to physicians’ adherence–predictions, including physicians’ perceptions of patient-agreement regarding treatment. However, some factors were not related to adherence and agreement-perceptions were inaccurate overall, potentially contributing to the poor accuracy of adherence–predictions. The degree to which physicians discussed treatment-specifics with the patient moderated agreement-perception accuracy but not adherence–prediction accuracy.

Training providers to discuss certain treatment-specifics with patients may improve their ability to perceive patient-agreement regarding treatment and may directly improve patient-adherence.

Practice implications
Discussing treatment-specifics with patients may directly improve adherence, but providers should not rely on these discussions to give them accurate estimates of the patients’ likely adherence.
  • Patient adherence,
  • physician predictions,
  • patient beliefs,
  • perceived agreement
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Patient Education and Counseling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Patient Education and Counseling, [85, 3, (2011)] DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2011.03.012
Citation Information
L. Alison Phillips, Elaine A. Leventhal and Howard Leventhal. "Factors associated with the accuracy of physicians’ predictions of patient adherence" Patient Education and Counseling Vol. 85 Iss. 3 (2011) p. 461 - 467
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