Understanding and Improving Treatment Adherence in Pediatric Patients

Many common skin diseases of children are easily diagnosed by dermatologists and have
straightforward treatments. Nevertheless, sometimes these conditions are frustratingly
difficult for both patients and physicians to control. Poor adherence to treatment may be the
underlying cause of poor outcomes in many situations. Studies of pediatric patients’ use of
medication show poor use across a broad array of medical illnesses. Studies of adherence
in children with acne and atopic dermatitis show similar findings. The reasons for poor
adherence likely vary across the pediatric age range, with fears of side effects being
pre-eminent in the care of infants and interpersonal interactions playing a greater role in
adolescents. By recognizing the major hurdles to adherence across the different ages,
dermatologists may be better able to tailor interventions to improve the outcomes of
children with skin disease.
Semin Cutan Med Surg 29:137-140 © 2010 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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