#5: What is patient adherence in clinical trials, and why is it important?
Patient adherence refers to the degree to which a patient follows the instructions and requirements of a clinical study protocol. This can include taking medications as prescribed, attending study visits, completing study assessments, and adhering to lifestyle recommendations.
Patient adherence is crucially important in clinical studies, as it can have a significant impact on the reliability and validity of study results. If patients do not adhere to the study protocol, the results may be less reliable and may not accurately reflect the true effects of the intervention being studied. Poor patient adherence can also introduce bias into the study results, as non-adherent patients may be different in important ways from those who adhere to the protocol.
To ensure patient adherence in clinical studies, researchers typically employ a number of strategies, such as supplying clear instructions and education to patients, using reminders and prompts to encourage adherence, and monitoring patient adherence through various means, such as pill counts, electronic monitoring devices, and self-report questionnaires.
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