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To the Editor.—
Drs. Gillum and Barsky identified a very real disease, patient noncompliance (228:1563, 1974). As the authors suggest, "The practicing physician must be educated and sensitized to this major problem and provided with an approach to the diagnosis and management of patient noncompliance." It concerns me to read this entire article and find no mention of an often-overlooked but efficacious treatment for the problem. I am referring to the efforts of pharmacists to increase patient compliance with the physician's orders.The article points out three true observations: first, that outpatients, in particular, have a great unmet need for explanation about the nature of their condition, its cause, and the therapeutic measures undertaken; second, "that patients with either extremely low or high levels of anxiety have been shown to remember less of what their physicians told them and be less likely to comply with medical advice"; third, that patients
Jellin JM. Diagnosis and Management of Patient Noncompliance. JAMA. 1974;229(12):1578. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230500014007
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