American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 253–271 | Cite as

Treatment Adherence Intervention Studies in Dermatology and Guidance on How to Support Adherence

  • Steven R. Feldman
  • Bernard Vrijens
  • Uwe Gieler
  • Stefano Piaserico
  • Lluís Puig
  • Peter van de Kerkhof
Review Article


Adequate adherence to prescribed treatment regimens can help to break the cycle of treatment failure, disease progression and subsequent treatment escalation. Unfortunately, adherence in the treatment of skin disorders such as acne, atopic dermatitis/eczema and psoriasis is often inadequate. A review of the literature identified a number of studies that tested an intervention to improve adherence in dermatology, including the following: electronic messages and/or reminders; more frequent or ‘extra’ clinic visits; audio-visual and internet-based interventions; and patient support programmes and/or self-management, educational training programmes. While there is no one solution or action for improving adherence, some interventions were more successful than others. We provide practical guidance on how to support adherence based on aspects of the successful interventions identified and on our collective opinion and clinical practice experience. Holding patients accountable, providing a caring and supportive environment, raising awareness of poor adherence and helping patients build a solid medication-taking habit can help to improve adherence so that patients can experience maximal treatment benefits and desired clinical outcomes.

Supplementary material

40257_2017_253_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (179 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 179 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. Feldman
    • 1
  • Bernard Vrijens
    • 2
    • 3
  • Uwe Gieler
    • 4
  • Stefano Piaserico
    • 5
  • Lluís Puig
    • 6
  • Peter van de Kerkhof
    • 7
  1. 1.Wake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.WestRock HealthcareViséBelgium
  3. 3.University of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  4. 4.Justus Liebig UniversityGiessenGermany
  5. 5.University of PaduaPaduaItaly
  6. 6.Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant PauUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.Radboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands

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