4089 Addressing Patients' Common-Sense Minds for Treatment Adherence in Chronic Illnesses

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 10:30 AM
102B (Washington Convention Center )
Ethan A. Halm , University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
Patients’ representations of asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes are influenced by symptoms. We describe how the Common-Sense Model specifies the factors involved in the comparison of somatic changes to prototypes of the “healthy” self. For example, the episodic symptoms experienced by patients with asthma and hypertension create the perceptual base of the representation of these diseases, and this leads to symptom focused medication and poor adherence. Two major tasks confront practitioners: 1) diagnosing and prescribing effective treatments, and 2) perceiving patients’ representations of their illnesses and treatments and action plans for treatment implementation, essential for adherence to treatment protocols. Clinicians fail to perceive patients' representations and fail to communicate the specific information needed to create effective self-management.