Project – Adherence

European Nurses Information and Communication Guide on Therapeutic Adherence


The Adherence is a wider problem than often assumed, it’s addressed by the World Health Organisation, the OECD and other global organisations. Their concern is not only the economic impact but above all, the avoidable implications. The avoidable admission to hospitals, the avoidable setbacks in therapeutic process, the time consuming interventions by health providers and above all, the avoidable personal and family impact. Such as not being able to work, engage with social life and ultimate even death. According to the OECD  there are annual 200.000 premature death each year related to adherence. The WHO organisation estimated that one in two patients do not adhere to their medication and on top of this according to estimation, it implies a 125 billion euro each year. If the figures and numbers are to doubt, this even when considering the numbers if half, they are very impressive. The medication errors are described in many domains and the top 3 are the timing errors what is in the range of 43%, the next one is the 30% omission and 17% goes to dose errors. On all there errors, there are opportunities with the patients and civil society and especially because medications are the most common healthcare treatments. And when used safety and above all appropriate, the most essential aspect, they contribute to improvement and wellbeing.

Impact on non-adherence on medication

Overall, as medication is an essential to the health intervention, and having a most prominent position,  it’s evident that this should also have a prominent place in the ongoing education and communication to health providers. It’s also a greater challenge to a have this accepted by health regulators and educators, institutional and local. Any absence or exclusion on continual professional development and competency building related to medication, raises concern and also contributes to adherence and safety. Medication safety is defined as freedom from preventable harm with medication use. The WHO has identified Medication Without Harm as the theme  to address the importance of medication safety in the third Global Patient Safety Challenge  and a mobilisation of stakeholders are required.

Towards a Nursing Information and Education guide on Adherence

The ESNO has taken de decision to develop a nurses information and communication guide. The goal is to support nurses in their understanding related to adherence and the ability to communicate based on a well understanding of the topic. Key element will be included like experiences from specific health domains, such as respiratory, dialysis, heart diseases and children but also related to chronic care, elderly, polypharmacy and the use of digital support and dose dispensing systems. This will also enable them then act as such and use it for education reasons for nurses in schools and continuing professional development activities.

The aim is to set out a project plan with activities and time lines to have the guide ready by the end of 2021 or beginning 2022.