Improving Outcomes in Adults with Atopic Dermatitis: Basic Approaches to Adherence Part III of IV

This is the third part of a 4-part series examining patient adherence in atopic dermatitis.

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The prior discussion focused on foundational strategies to improve patient adherence, including establishing an environment of care and frequent check-ins with patients after their clinic visit. This section will discuss practical approaches to involving patients in treatment selection, decreasing treatment burden, providing patient education, and strategies to help remind patients to use prescribed therapy (Figure 1).

Patient involvement in selecting therapies highlights their preferences and increases adherence.1 One patient may prioritize receiving fast results while another patient may value limited adverse effects. The efficacy of a certain medication is irrelevant if a patient is not using it. The best vehicle for drug delivery is the one that the patient will use. Besides inquiring about patient preferences, providing samples of medications for use on a trial basis can be an outstanding way of determining the best treatment before committing to a costly medication. Furthermore, utilizing coupons and discount prescription websites can reduce the monetary burden on patients and convey that you care about the financial impact of the selected treatment regimen.
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RELATED CONTENT

Improving Outcomes: Part I – Impact of Nonadherence
Improving Outcomes: Building a Foundation
Treating Head and Neck Atopic Dermatitis
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To reduce the burden of treatment, fewer prescriptions can be given. We have demonstrated that increasing the number of prescriptions inversely correlates with patient adherence.2,3 Simplifying treatment regimens can be achieved by having patients use a potent treatment on all areas or using it less often on areas that are more responsive to treatment instead of giving multiple prescriptions with different potency to be used on different areas. When more than 1 drug is indicated, using a combination product can reduce the complexity of treatment. The apparent burden of treatment can also be alleviated by reducing the perceived duration of treatment; this can be achieved by having patients report their progress after a few days of treatment

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