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Patient Adherence

  1. Daniel G. Morrow1,
  2. Kathleen C. Insel2

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0646

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Morrow, D. G. and Insel, K. C. 2010. Patient Adherence. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  2. 2

    University of Arizona

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Patient adherence is defined as the extent to which patients follow prescribed treatment regimens (Haynes et al., 2008). Adherence supports health promotion (e.g., exercise and diet), treatment of disease, symptom management, and efficient health care delivery. The term adherence is used rather than compliance because its meaning is more consistent with views of patients as active participants in health care rather than passive recipients of services. Although this article is limited to medication adherence, the issues are relevant for adherence to other prescribed regimens.


  • adherence;
  • aging;
  • cognition;
  • health;
  • health beliefs;
  • interventions