As a provider of healthcare, we see patients who do not follow their doctor’s orders or do their suggested home program… They come back in for another appointment and complain that the same problem isn’t getting better. When asked why they didn’t do their home program, we get a multitude of reasons from they were too busy to they forgot.
Not doing your home program is considered non-adherence or non-compliance to medical advice. Non-adherence to medical advice is an expensive problem. A recent study of medication adherence in post hospital discharges found that the USA spends $13.35 billion per year on hospital visits for misused or skipped medications. It is clear that non-adherence often results in a combination of wasted medical care dollars, wasted time and energy for both the patients and the healthcare provider, as well as poor outcomes of disease treatment.
So why don’t patients comply with medical advice and listen to their doctor’s orders?
A study found that patients forgot 56% of their instructions shortly after leaving the doctor’s office.
So why did the patients forget?
1. High anxiety contributes to patients’ lower levels of recall, and increases the risk of non-adherence.
2. Depression, diagnosed or not, is a predictor of poor compliance.
3. Poor communication between provider and patient.
So what is the solution?
As a patient, ask for directions in writing and make sure you understand what you are to do. Insist on reviewing the home program with your provider. Make time in your schedule to actually do your home program. Talk with your healthcare provider if you are feeling anxious or depressed.
Ignoring a problem becomes costly, whereas there are treatments available that could help. Success with your healthcare is and always has been participation-driven. So please follow through and at least try the home program. If it hurts or is not working for you, speak to your provider. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your upper extremities, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment at LB Hand Therapy.