Noncompliance is defined as behavior of the patient or caregiver that fails to coincide with the therapeutic plan agreed on by the patient and the health care provider. Patients are noncompliant for various reasons, such as a lack of information about the drug, the reason the drug is prescribed, or the expected or therapeutic results. Noncompliance also can be the result of anxiety or bothersome side effects. The nurse can relieve anxiety by allowing the patient to express feelings or concerns, by actively listening as the patient verbalizes feelings, and by providing information so that the patient can be fully informed about the drug. Many patients have a tendency to discontinue use of the drug once the symptoms have been relieved. It is important to emphasize the importance of completing the prescribed course of therapy. For example, failure to complete a course of antibiotic therapy may result in recurrence of the infection. To combat noncompliance the nurse finds out the exact reason for the noncompliance, if possible. Factors related to noncompliance are similar to those listed in Display 4-1.
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