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August 15, 1980

An Aid to Patient Compliance

Author Affiliations

Riverside Family Practice Center Toledo, Ohio

JAMA. 1980;244(7):659. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310070013010

To the Editor.—  Noncompliance with medical treatment programs occurs frequently,1 and a variety of approaches have been recommended to minimize its extent.2-4 Explanation and coaching by physicians and other health professionals, written instructions, family involvement, audiovisual programs, and checkoff lists all have a place. I would like to describe a simple mechanical aid to patient compliance that others may find useful.As my septuagenarian mother's obstructive lung disease advanced, she became increasingly dependent on several medicines taken at regular intervals. Compliance with the regimen prescribed by her physician became unreliable. To relieve this problem, I built a small tray on which she can lay out a week's supply of tablets and capsules (according to written instructions) and can tell at a glance whether she is taking them on schedule. I cut two pieces of 6.35-mm (1/4 in) hardboard to a size of 12.7×20.3 cm (5×8 in). In these