Failure to comply with therapy is proving to be a phenomenon difficult to combat, demanding new approaches in the research. Within this topic, NIVEL focuses on the use of medication, on communication in surgeries about therapy compliance, and on following physiotherapists’ advice, amongst other things. One component of the research NIVEL is conducting into the proper use of medication is whether ICT solutions could help patients to use their medication in a better way. An example of this is a study of the influence of a real-time monitoring system (RTMM) on diabetes patients’ medication use. A number of other projects with the RTMM system have been planned for the coming years, together with the VU University among others. The data from these projects are being used to develop new methods of analyzing real-time data about therapy compliance.
Another important element is the attention given to communication about therapy compliance between doctor and patient. Previously NIVEL has researched communication about the use of medication and therapy compliance in surgeries. Lists of key issues have been developed both for patients and for care professionals based on hiatuses that have been observed. These lists of focus points act as the foundation for all kinds of communication methods, including protocols, health care standards, continuous education programmes. These will be developed further in 2010, together with the professional groups concerned. Further research is being conducted as to why there is so little communication about compliance and how this could be stimulated, for example by providing (financial) incentives. Studies are also being carried out to find out how pharmacists communicate with patients about use of medication and therapy compliance, and how this could be improved further.
Where physiotherapy is concerned, NIVEL also researches patients’ therapy compliance. In this field this means the degree to which patients carry out exercises according to their physiotherapists’ instructions. There is a currently ongoing study, for instance, of the correlation between the degree to which patients carry out their exercises on the one hand, and their functioning on the other. This study also researches which elements influence therapy compliance. In future, research into the way these patients’ therapy compliance can be improved will continue.