Taxonomy of Medication Adherence: Recent Developments

  • Michel BurnierEmail author
  • Bernard Vrijens
Part of the Updates in Hypertension and Cardiovascular Protection book series (UHCP)


Inadequate adherence to recommendations and prescribed medications is a very old problem, which is still highly prevalent in all specialties of medicine. It is a major concern for all health care providers including health authorities. Indeed, a poor adherence to medication is an enormous waste not only in terms of unused medications but also in terms of lack of clinical benefits, poor quality of life for patients, increased use of medical resources, and loss of time and efforts for health care professionals. For many years, the field of adherence or compliance has been affected by the lack of a clear taxonomy and poor definitions of the various processes involved in the patients’ drug-taking behavior. Over the last years, several authors and groups of scientists have attempted to improve the taxonomy in order to standardize the concepts and definitions. The purpose of this chapter is to review the recent developments in terminology associated with the adherence process.


Terminology Compliance Persistence Definition Initiation Discontinuation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Service of Nephrology and Hypertension, University HospitalLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  3. 3.Advanced Analytical Research on Drug Exposure (AARDEX Group)ViséBelgium

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