March 1986

Educational Strategies to Improve Compliance With an Antibiotic Regimen

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine and Dentistry (Drs Williams, Maiman, and Powell); the Genessee Health Service, Rochester, NY (Drs Broadbent, Kotok, Lawrence, Mangold, and Webb); and the Family Health Associates, Rochester, NY (Drs Longfield, Mayer, and Sayre). Dr Williams is now with the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson. Dr Longfield is now with Pediatric Consultants, Albuquerque.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(3):216-220. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140170042025

Patient compliance with prescribed medication regimens is a major problem in the clinical practice of medicine.1 Poor compliance interferes with critical aspects of pediatric care delivery, as at least one of every three patients fails to follow the physician's recommendations. Failure to give children antibiotics as prescribed for acute otitis media could be associated with a persistence of the disease and subsequent problems, such as exposure to additional antibiotics, hearing loss, and potential speech and language difficulties.

Research2-4 has documented disturbingly low levels of compliance with antibiotic therapies for children being treated for acute infections (Table 1). As summarized in Table 2, relatively few studies5-10 have examined methods to improve compliance in the treatment of this illness.

Finney and co-workers10 reported that parents who received an intervention program, which consisted of an educational handout, a self-monitoring calendar reminder, and a telephone reminder on the fourth or

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