Compliance in healthcare refers to the extent to which a patient follows the recommendations of their healthcare provider. Traditionally, compliance has been seen as the patient simply following the authority of their healthcare provider, without much room for collaboration or communication (Osterberg & Blaschke, 2005). In this context, patients who do not comply with the recommendations may be labeled as “uncooperative” or “difficult”. However, a shift in perspective is needed to promote patient-centered care.
Open communication between the healthcare professional and the patient is essential to understanding the patient’s motivations and barriers to adherence. By asking questions such as whether the patient feels in control of their medical condition, whether they accept the need for lifestyle changes, and whether they have been properly educated about their illness, healthcare professionals can gain insight into the patient’s struggles (Osterberg & Blaschke, 2005). These questions can reveal underlying issues and help the patient feel more comfortable discussing their concerns.
To overcome the barriers to adherence, it is important for the healthcare professional to establish a relationship built on mutual respect and trust with the patient. This can be achieved through good communication and listening skills. Taking the time to apologize for any mispronunciations or mistakes and treating the patient with respect can go a long way in building rapport (Osterberg & Blaschke, 2005). Once a positive relationship is established, the healthcare professional can better assess the patient’s needs and address any anxieties or fears they may have about their procedure.
It is important to note that the term compliance implies a power differential between the patient and the healthcare professional. Instead of striving for compliance, healthcare professionals should aim for adherence to recommendations that are patient-centered (Falvo, 2011). This means involving the patient in the decision-making process and considering their individual needs and preferences. By fostering a relationship based on communication, respect, and active participation, healthcare professionals can promote better outcomes for their patients.
In conclusion, promoting patient compliance in healthcare requires a shift in perspective from a traditional authority-based approach to a patient-centered approach. Open communication, active listening, and building a respectful relationship with the patient are key elements in promoting adherence to recommendations. By understanding the patient’s motivations and barriers, healthcare professionals can address their concerns and help them feel more comfortable with the proposed treatments. Striving for adherence, rather than compliance, allows for collaboration and mutual decision-making, resulting in better healthcare outcomes for patients.