Back when I used to work on digital health coaching programs, one frequent question we got had to do with whether people self-reported their health data honestly. Could we count on someone with a health issue to tell the truth about lousy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, or skipping prescriptions? Research suggests that people are at least somewhat truthful when self-reporting their health behaviors, and discrepancies are often the result of comprehension issues rather than deceitful intent. Still, in designing a program that measures “non-healthy” behaviors, there are ways to encourage people to be more truthful. Continue reading Forgiveness, Compassion, and Health Behavior Change
I’ve done a lot of work on medication adherence and helping people to remember to take their medications as prescribed. When we’ve asked people who sometimes have trouble remembering their medications why, over half of them give some reason related to routine. Examples include: Continue reading Six Ways to Remember Your Meds
In the work I’ve done with medication adherence, there are several “usual suspects” we find behind people’s failure to take drugs as prescribed. Issues related to habit and routine are common; I know my own medication habits become significantly worse when I’m traveling a lot. We also see non-adherence due to a lack of education or understanding of proper drug use, or inability to effectively communicate with providers.
We do find that emotional issues, such as a negative reaction to having a particular diagnosis, can drive some people’s non-adherence. Related to that, an issue with medication adherence that I think is under-explored is how people’s sense of personal identity affects their willingness to take certain medications. Simply put, I don’t think today’s relatively young 50- and 60-year olds feel emotionally ready to take the medications that come with many chronic condition diagnoses. Continue reading Medication Adherence and Identity: Shifts in the Meaning of Aging and Comfort with “Old People’s” Drugs