Let’s flip the script on treatment adherence

Treatment adherence is strengthened by hundreds of complex, competing factors. It’s no surprise that around 15 to 30% of new prescriptions are never filled.*

Fullscript has compiled expert advice and leading research to help practitioners boost adherence in their practices.

*References available in Fullscript’s Treatment adherence in integrative medicine report

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So, where do we begin?

Start by breaking treatment adherence into three stages.


Identifying and addressing barriers

Adherence rates decline for most patients partly due to factors such as practitioner and patient education, cost, feasibility, and patient readiness to change.


Personalizing treatment

The complexity of adherence requires an individual approach to understanding, identifying, analyzing, addressing, monitoring, and evaluating reasons and solutions for non-adherence.


Measuring and evolving tactics

There are multiple measures to best capture adherence rates and reasons for non-adherence. With the right tools, it’s easier to find interventions to address non-adherence throughout treatment.

With a framework in place, start thinking about tactics

Here are five considerations and strategies you can implement today.

Cost considerations

Cost is one of the primary barriers to adherence. Use a staged approach to introduce treatments one at a time and set realistic goals in line with financial restrictions.

Staged approach

Be clear about which aspect of the health problem to prioritize. Provide multiple options for increased flexibility.

Patient education

Educate the patient about treatment options, how they work, their potential side effects, information on the condition, and the importance of adherence.

Patient readiness

Try motivational interviewing or other theoretical and evidence-based behavior strategies to communicate a shared value of the patient’s well-being.


Offer multiple, preferred points of contact for treatment reminders, like text messages, emails, phone calls, and applications.


improvement in patient adherence when practitioners are trained in motivational interviewing

*van Dulmen, S., Sluijs, E., van Dijk, L., de Ridder, D., Heerdink, R., & Bensing, J. (2007). Patient adherence to medical treatment: A review of reviews. BMC Health Services Research, 7, 55.


improvement in patient adherence with practitioner-targeted communication interventions

*Zolnierek, K. B. H., & Dimatteo, M. R. (2009). Physician communication and patient adherence to treatment: A meta-analysis. Medical Care, 47(8), 826–834.

Educational resources

Expert insights, strategies, and tools to strengthen adherence long-term.

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Get Fullscript’s Treatment adherence in integrative medicine report

Download our free report on treatment adherence to gain breakthrough insights on its influencing factors, measures, rates, and interventions.

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