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Keywords:

  • adherence;
  • arthritis;
  • asthma;
  • chronic disease;
  • diabetes;
  • epilepsy

• The purpose of this study was to describe the factors that predict compliance among adolescents with a chronic illness.

• The data were collected by questionnaires from adolescents with asthma, epilepsy, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Groups of 300 adolescents with these illnesses were selected from the Finnish Social Insurance Institution’s register, giving a total study series of 1200 individuals. The final response percentage was 88% (n=1061).

• The data were analysed with the SPSS software. Logistic regression was used to indicate the predictors of good compliance.

• The compliance of adolescents with a chronic disease was predicted on the basis of support from parents, nurses, physicians and friends, as well as motivation, energy and willpower.

• The most powerful predictor was support from nurses. The likelihood of adolescents supported by nurses complying with health regimens was 7.28-fold compared to the adolescents who did not receive support from nurses.

• The next powerful predictor was energy and willpower. Adolescents who had the energy and willpower to take care of themselves complied with health regimens with a 6.69-fold likelihood compared to the adolescents who did not have energy and willpower.

• Adolescents who had good motivation were 5.28 times more likely to comply than the adolescents who did not have motivation.

• Support from parents, physicians and friends similarly predicted good compliance with health regimens.