Many factors, including mood, self-efficacy, social support, illness and treatment perceptions and mood, influence intentional and unintentional non-adherence and can be targeted in specifically designed interventions. Illness perceptions describe the ways in which patients make sense of their medical condition and these are made up of five interlinked dimensions: the way we view our symptoms, our beliefs about the cause of the illness, the duration of the illness, the consequences of the illness, and the amount of control we think we have over the illness or ability to cure it. In addition to having direct effects on adherence, illness perceptions will also affect a patient’s view of their treatment, particularly how necessary they perceive treatment to be (Horne et al, 1999).
Looking at illness perception and the initial research into the capacity of psychosocial interventions to alter unhelpful illness and treatment beliefs, there is now a need to harness this evidence to develop and evaluate tailored interventions to support patient adherence in ESRD.
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Horne R & Weinman J (1999) Patients’ beliefs about prescribed medicines and their role in adherence treatment in chronic physical illness. J Psychosom Res, 47, 6, 555-567
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