Background: Adherence to medical interventions is a global problem. With an increasing amount of partially effective but expensive drug treatments adherence is increasingly relevant in multiple sclerosis (MS). Perceived lack of efficacy and side effects as well as neuropsychiatric factors such as forgetfulness, fatigue and depression are major determinants. However, research on adherence to behavioural interventions as part of rehabilitative interventions has only rarely been studied.
Methods: In a one-day meeting health researchers as well as patient representatives and other stakeholders discussed adherence issues in MS and developed a general draft research agenda within a focus group session.
Results: The focus group addressed four major areas: (1) focussing patients and their informal team; (2) studying health care professionals; (3) comparing practice across cultures; and (4) studying new adherence interventions.
Conclusions: A focus on patient preferences as well as a non-judgemental discussion on adherence issues with patients should be at the core of adherence work.