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September 1980

Medical Condition, Adherence to Treatment Regimens, and Family Functioning: Their Interactions in Patients Receiving Long-term Dialysis Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Mr Steidl, Dr Quinlan, and Ms Wexler), Medicine (Drs Finkelstein and Kliger and Ms Kitsen), and Nursing (Ms Feigenbaum), Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(9):1025-1027. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780220063006

• Twenty-three medically stable patients receiving long-term dialysis treatment and their families were studied to investigate the relationship between medical condition, adherence to treatment, and patterns of family interaction. We found significant correlations between ratings of overall family functioning and overall medical condition, and a near-significant relationship between ratings of adherence to treatment and overall family functioning. In addition, specific family variables that related either to medical condition or to adherence were identified. Our findings suggest that family assessment can be used for early identification of patients at risk for poor adherence to treatment or poor medical progress. Furthermore, it may be possible to improve medical condition and adherence by working with the family in specific areas of family functioning found to be related to medical condition or adherence.

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