Medical adherence and childhood chronic illness: Family daily management skills and emotional climate as emerging contributors

Barbara H. Fiese, Robin S. Everhart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To describe recent research that examines family factors that promote or derail adherence to medical regimens for children with chronic health conditions, primarily asthma, diabetes, and cystic fibrosis. From the past 2 years, eight correlational studies were identified which specifically examined the links between family management strategies, family climate and medical adherence. RECENT FINDINGS: Findings from the studies suggest that team-based management strategies and cohesive family climate promote adherence to medical treatments over time. Family interactions that are characterized by conflict and disengagement tend to disrupt adherence and inevitably cause a decline in child health. Moreover, these findings seem to be moderated by child age in that poorer adherence often occurs when a child reaches adolescence and is searching for greater autonomy. SUMMARY: Future research should consider the challenges in measuring medical adherence in the family context as well as incorporating more naturalistic studies of family interactions. Randomized controlled trials using family-based interventions may consider focusing on medical adherence as an important mediator between family process and child health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-557
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Pediatrics
Volume18
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chronic illnesses
  • Family influences
  • Medical adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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