Poor Patient Compliance – Does the Physician Share Responsibility?
We physicians shrug our shoulders when patients do not comply with or adhere to their treatment. Should we look at our responsibility for patient compliance and adherence?
There is recent evidence that whether you become addicted to opioid painkillers depends on which physician prescribes gets you started on opioid painkillers. See one physician rather than another, and you have a 30% higher chance of becoming addicted. So the physician you see bears some responsibility if you get addicted to opioid painkillers.
Does this not hold true with adherence to other treatments? Certainly who treats you for sleep apnea determines whether you have the national average 59% CPAP adherence, or the 70-75% achieved by centers practicing educational or supportive intervention. Or even the 90% CPAP adherence achieved by our patients, who we treat with a combination of educational and supportive intervention and treatment for CPAP related poor sleep.
Thus, who you see for your sleep disorder may well determine how likely you are to adhere to treatment.