Patient Compliance and Patient Education

  1. Defining Patient Compliance

Patient compliance refers to the various behaviors patients follow as healthcare professionals advise, such as medication, lifestyle changes, therapy, diet, exercise, and diagnostic tests (Audrain-Pontevia et al., 2019). Honesty and openness in communication with healthcare providers are also essential in patient compliance. This ensures that the healthcare professional has an accurate understanding of the patient’s condition and progress.

Patient Compliance and Patient Education

Compliance is important in nursing as it directly affects patient outcomes and overall health. A study by Araya et al. (2020) found that non-adherence to medication is responsible for up to 10% of hospital readmissions and 25% of nursing home admissions and leads to complications of the disease process, exacerbation of symptoms, and increased healthcare costs. It can also lead to medication errors, drug interactions, and reduced effectiveness of treatment.

Nurses play a critical role in promoting patient compliance by educating patients on their condition, medication, and treatment options. Nurses also provide support and resources to help patients overcome barriers to compliance, such as cost, side effects, and forgetfulness, as well as monitor and assess patients’ adherence to treatment and provide feedback to healthcare providers. Nurse-led interventions, such as patient education and reminder systems, are effective in improving patient compliance with medication regimens (Kim et al., 2022).

  1. Nurses’ Role in Compliance

Nurses play a critical role in promoting patient compliance, and their interventions have a significant impact on a patient’s adherence to treatment. Nurses can also inadvertently contribute to noncompliance. Burgess et al. (2022) show that healthcare professionals often fail to communicate effectively with patients about their medications, leading to misunderstandings and non-compliance. For example, nurses may not provide clear instructions for taking medication or fail to explain the potential side effects of medication.

Additionally, a nurse can unintentionally contribute to noncompliance by failing to consider a patient’s circumstances, such as their financial situation, living conditions, or cultural beliefs. For example, a nurse can prescribe a medication that is too expensive for a patient to afford or recommend a dietary change that is not practical for a patient’s cultural background. Nurse-led interventions, such as personalized education and reminder systems, are effective in improving patient compliance with medication regimens.

  1. Comparing Compliance and Collaboration

Patient compliance refers to the extent to which a patient follows medical advice and adheres to treatment recommendations (Chakrabarti, 2022). Compliance is often seen as a one-sided relationship, where the nurse provides instructions and the patient follows them. Conversely, collaboration emphasizes a two-way relationship between the patient and the healthcare professional, where both parties work together to develop and implement a treatment plan (O’Daniel & Rosenstein, 2022).

Collaboration takes into account the patient’s preferences, values, and goals and works to create a sense of shared decision-making and mutual respect. Collaboration between nurse and patients improves patient outcomes and satisfaction, as well as communication and reduce misunderstandings that may contribute to noncompliance. Additionally, patient-centered care, which emphasizes collaboration and shared decision-making, improves patient compliance with medication regimens, higher levels of patient satisfaction, and improved healthcare outcomes.

  1. Comparing and Contrasting Patient Education in the Past with that Practiced Today

Patient education has evolved significantly over the years, with advancements in technology, changes in healthcare delivery models, new approaches to promoting patient engagement and empowerment, and an increased level of education among patients. In the past, patient education was often limited to basic information about the patient’s condition and treatment plan, with little emphasis on shared decision-making or patient empowerment. Healthcare professionals were often seen as the primary decision-makers, and patients were expected to follow instructions without question (Hoving et al., 2019). Today, patient education is more collaborative and patient-centered.

Nurses are expected to involve patients in decision-making and provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to take an active role in managing their health (Pellisé et al., 2019). Patient education is no longer viewed as a one-time event but rather a continuous process that involves ongoing assessment, feedback, and support. Patient education programs that focus on patient-centered care and empowerment lead to better patient outcomes and satisfaction. Additionally, patient education that incorporates technology, such as online resources and telehealth, can improve access to care and increase patient engagement.

  1. Importance of Professional Commitment in Developing Patient Education as a Clinical Skill

Professional commitment to patient education as a clinical skill involves a dedicated and ongoing commitment to improving patient outcomes, advancing clinical knowledge, and staying up to date with the latest research and best practices in patient education, according to Duran et al. (2021). Professional commitment is essential in developing patient education as a clinical skill because patient education is a constantly evolving field.

New research, technologies, and treatment approaches are constantly emerging, and nurses must stay current to provide their patients with the best possible care. Additionally, professional commitment demonstrates the level of dedication and care that patients appreciate and respond to.  Nurses who are professionally committed to their professional development are more likely to be innovative, adaptable, and effective in patient education.

  1. Categories of Learning and Application to Patient Education

The three categories of learning are cognitive, affective, and psychomotor (Brookside, 2022). Cognitive learning involves the patient can acquire knowledge, understanding, and mental skills. This can be used to teach patients about their condition, treatment options, and medication management. Strategies for cognitive learning may include lectures, written materials, and interactive activities such as quizzes or case studies.

Affective learning entails the development of attitudes, beliefs, and values and can be used to promote patient motivation and engagement. Strategies for effective learning may include motivational interviewing, goal setting, and feedback. Psychomotor learning is the development of physical skills and abilities and can teach patients how to perform self-care tasks, such as administering insulin.

Strategies for psychomotor learning may include demonstrations, hands-on practice, and feedback. By tailoring education to the patient’s needs, preferences, and abilities, healthcare professionals can help ensure that patients are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about their health.

  1. Problems that May Arise in Patient Education and the Solutions
  • Many patients have limited health literacy, which can make it difficult for them to understand health information and instructions (Varming et al., 2019). To address this problem, the nurse should use plain language, visual aids, and teach-back techniques to ensure patients understand the information given.
  • Cultural and linguistic barriers whereby patients from different cultures and language backgrounds could have different beliefs and values related to health, as well as difficulty understanding and communicating with healthcare professionals (Varming et al., 2019). To address this problem, nurses must work with interpreters and be culturally competent.
  • Nurses could have limited time to devote to patient education, particularly in busy clinical settings. To address this problem, the nurse should use technology-based educational resources and prioritize the most critical information for each patient based on their needs and preferences (Varming et al., 2019).
  1. Methods of Documentation of Patient Education
  • Electronic health records (Shipman et al., 2019)
  • Audio or video recordings with patient consent
  • Patient education handouts such as handouts, pamphlets, or brochures.


  • Araya, E. M., Gebrezgabiher, H. A., Tekulu, G. H., Alema, N. M., Getnet, D., Gebru, H. T., & Adamu, B. A. (2020). Medication non-adherence and associated factors among diabetic patients visiting general hospitals in the Eastern Zone of Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia. Patient Preference and Adherence, 14, 2071–2083.
  • Audrain-Pontevia, A.-F., Menvielle, L., & Ertz, M. (2019). Effects of three antecedents of patient compliance for users of peer-to-peer online health communities: Cross-sectional study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(11), e14006.
  • Brookside. (2022). Nursing Fundamentals II multimedia edition – the role of the practical nurse.
  • Burgess, E. R., Kaziunas, E., & Jacobs, M. (2022). Care frictions: A critical reframing of patient noncompliance in health technology design. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 6(CSCW2), 1–31.
  • Chakrabarti, S. (2022). What’s in a name? Compliance, adherence, and concordance in chronic psychiatric disorders. World Journal of Psychiatry, 4(2), 30–36.
  • Duran, S., Celik, I., Ertugrul, B., Ok, S., & Albayrak, S. (2021). Factors affecting nurses’ professional commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Nursing Management, 29(7), 1906–1915.
  • Hoving, C., Visser, A., Mullen, P. D., & van den Borne, B. (2019). A history of patient education by health professionals in Europe and North America: from authority to shared decision making education. Patient Education and Counseling, 78(3), 275–281.
  • Kim, C.-J., Kim, M., Lee, G.-Y., Park, E., & Schlenk, E. A. (2022). Effectiveness of nurse-led interventions on medication adherence in adults taking medication for metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Nursing.
  • O’Daniel, M., & Rosenstein, A. H. (2022). Professional Communication and Team Collaboration. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  • Pellisé, F., Sell, P., & EuroSpine Patient Line Task Force. (2019). Patient information and education with modern media: the Spine Society of Europe Patient Line. European Spine Journal: Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, 18 Suppl 3(S3), 395–401.
  • Shipman, J. P., Lake, E. W., Van Der Volgen, J., & Doman, D. (2019). Provider documentation of patient education: a lean investigation. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 104(2), 154–158.
  • Varming, A. R., Torenholt, R., Møller, B. L., Vestergaard, S., & Engelund, G. (2019). Addressing challenges and needs in patient education targeting hardly reached patients with chronic diseases. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 19(2), 292–295.

Assessment Description

Write a short (50-100-word) paragraph response for each question. This assignment is to be submitted as a Microsoft Word document.

  1. Define patient compliance and explain its importance in your field.
  2. Identify the health care professionals’ role in compliance and give examples of ways in which the health care professional may actually contribute to noncompliance.
  3. Compare compliance and collaboration.
  4. Compare and contrast patient education in the past with that practiced today.
  5. Explain the importance of professional commitment in developing patient education as a clinical skill.
  6. Explain the three categories of learning and how they can be used in patient education.
  7. List three problems that may arise in patient education and how they would be solved?
  8. List some methods of documentation of patient education.