Key Concepts in Public Health identifies fifty key concepts used across the discipline of public health in order to give the reader a broad perspective of the core topics relevant to training and practice. From epidemiology to health promotion, and ethics to leadership, the book offers an exciting guide to the multiprofessional field. Each entry features a snapshot definition of the concept, a broader discussion addressing the main issues and links to practice, key points relevant to the entry, case studies to illustrate the application to practice, and examples of further reading.

Adherence to Treatment – a Person-Centred Approach

Adherence to Treatment – a Person-Centred Approach

Adherence to treatment – a person-centred approach
DiannePhipps, and SaraBell


In the discussions below, the term ‘treatment’ refers to any advised course of action within a public health context. This could be prescribed medication, or a behavioural change such as increased exercise.

Discussion continues as to how to describe what we have called adherence. The most popular terms to date are compliance, concordance and adherence.

Compliance can mean that the person is carrying out the recommended treatment (Horne, 2006), suggesting individuals are passive recipients of healthcare treatment or advice, not active parties in improving/maintaining their own health and wellbeing. This may cause difficulties: someone seen as ‘non-compliant’ may also be considered difficult or uncooperative. The term ‘compliance’ can be seen as passive, ...

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