Science

The importance of complying with medical treatments

Discontinuation of medications to treat chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes is common and harmful to health

The importance of timely medical treatment cannot be underestimated.

Failure to comply is the main cause of not achieving the full benefits that medications can provide to patients.

According to Rafael Hernández Flores, Technical Secretary of the Ministry of Health of the State, when a person seeks medical attention, his doctor is obliged to extend a treatment relevant to his condition, resulting in the recovery of his health.

“It is our responsibility to check that the diagnosis is accurate, but at the time a medical prescription is given, the patient is already responsible for their treatment,” says Hernández Flores.

The price range of the various medications is subject to the technology used for their production and distribution costs, but most infectious diseases can be cured with cheap drugs.

The interruption of treatment, for example of antibiotics, can return to the more resistant virus, which generates a need for more complex and expensive medicines.

In the Ministry of Health, according to Hernández Flores, they do not have a registry of patients who abandon treatment, but finding those with drug resistance may indicate that they suspend it at the first sign of improvement.

“If the patient takes his medication and does not see any clinical improvement, he has to return with his doctor to follow-up and make an adjustment to the prescription,” recommends Hernández Flores.

The interruption

Abelardo Elizondo Río, an internist, says that the treatments that are most frequently interrupted are chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, metabolic and autoimmune problems, and the risks depend on the disease itself.

A better accompaniment of treatments does not represent a threat to health system budgets.

On the contrary, observing compliance could reduce the general budget due to the prevention of more expensive interventions, such as frequent and prolonged hospitalizations, unnecessary use of emergency services or intensive care.

“The treatment is to get them out of the crisis, and then keep them stable, and risk suspending it for showing improvement, it always results in relapse and this is a very serious problem in the medium and long term,” says the intensivist pulmonologist.

Lack of attachment

The lack of adherence to treatments is caused by three main factors.

The most common is when the patient feels relief and thinks that it is no longer necessary to continue with the medication; According to Elizondo Río, this can be avoided if doctors deeply explain the origin of their illness, risks, and scope of the prescribed treatment.

The second factor involves the question of the economic solvency of a patient and, finally, the misinformation caused by social networks and media that promote “miraculous remedies” or alternative medicines, which do not have scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.

The fear factor

Regarding the psychological aspects of this phenomenon, Elizabeth Pérez García, a specialist in behavioral therapy, attributes the decision to hinder medical attention, fear.

“Ignore the circumstances that disease brings with it, it generates resistance to treating it, fear leads to denial as a process of accepting information,” explains the specialist in family systemic therapy.

As a way to avoid the solution, according to Pérez García, self-improvement is part of a notable tendency to reject responsibility, not to put health as a priority in the budget and habits.

“It has a lot to do with the cultural issue, we are not to prevent, we take action when the pain is already too strong, or when we run out of shortcuts,” he says.

Trust is the key

Mexico is the country where more health professionals think that patients do not follow their instructions.

62.7% of specialists ensure that the transmission of trust is essential for patients to follow recommendations and come back if they have another health problem.

 55% of doctors indicate that there is resistance from patients to properly follow their treatments.

 42% of doctors believe that patients do not properly follow their laziness treatments.

 Patients forget specific indications by 37%, according to specialists.

* Source: Study conducted in 2018 by the Doctoralia platform, in which the behavior between health specialists and patients was analyzed.