Deconstruction of “Non-Compliance”

Deconstruction of “Non-Compliance”

The term non-compliance in regards to patients is commonly used in literature and everyday conversations between health care providers. Regardless of the widespread use of the concept, a consensus exists in medical and social sciences fields that the term lacks a clear meaning and can be counter-productive in the patient care delivery (Chandra, Kumar, Reddy, & Reddy, 2014). Although “non-compliance” is used in understanding how patients comply with or fail to observe their medication or treatment regimens, the concept is viewed with negative connotations and require deconstruction to promote quality of care.

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Whenever care providers use the term non-compliance, they create a negative view of the patient’s willingness to observe their treatment protocols. The concept refers to patients who refuse to take their prescribed treatments, including medications (Miller, 2016). The assumption affects patient care. For instance, when a patient is non-compliant, health care providers might assume that he or she has stubbornly refused to follow the prescribed course of treatment.

The assumption might be wrong and can negatively affect the treatment outcome for the patient. Therefore, nurses should change the presumptions that relate to the use of the term. For instance, they should avoid the assumption that the patient has refused to comply with the treatment. Instead, they should assess the underlying factors behind the failure to comply, such as cultural or spiritual beliefs.

Overall, nurses and other caregivers should change the way they approach the concept of non-compliance when interacting with their patients. They should avoid assuming that a patient is stubborn. Instead, they should collaborate with patients to understand the underlying cause of a behavior and assist the sick to overcome any health-related challenges.


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