Objective: Medication adherence and the assessment of patients’ adherence are known to be problematic. There is often a discrepancy between the adherence rate estimated by the physician and the actual adherence rate of the patient. This literature review gives an overview about the published studies investigating physicians’ assessment of patient adherence in comparison to the actual medication adherence.
Methods: This review was conducted in compliance with the Grade system in March 2016 and September 2018. Articles included in this review were identified by literature search in Medline and the Cochrane Library. Search terms included patient compliance, physicians, physician-patient relations and assessment. We included every type of study, in German or in English language.
Results: Out of 588 results, 41 were included in the review. Due to the language, non-availability of the article or inconsistency with the investigated topic, only 19 studies were evaluated. In most of the studies an overestimation of patients’ adherence by physicians got obvious.
Conclusion: Physicians assessed medication adherence of their patients mostly incorrect. They tend to overestimate the medication adherence of patients. Only in mental disorders they tend to underrate. A visual analog scale seems to be a good method to assess physicians’ estimation of patients’ adherence. Patients’ adherence should be measured by directs methods or MEMSTM.
Practice implications: For evaluating the non-adherence in patients the physicians have to discuss the medication regimen with the patient and have to ensure the adherence of the patients.