Compliance Research in Pediatric and Adolescent Populations: Two Decades of Research
Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob E. Jean Dunning Kathleen Dwyer University of Pittsburgh
The systematic study of adherence in pediatric populations has gained in popularity over the past two decades. Increasingly, researchers have become aware of the positive effects that interventions, aimed at increasing treatment compliance, can have on child health outcomes. A review of the state of the art in pediatric adherence, however, reveals existing gaps in knowledge. Pediatric adherence research has primarily focused on the older age groups and on the chronically ill population. The changing trends in pediatric patient populations and in health care delivery may suggest that a review of current knowledge is warranted.
This chapter addresses the evolution of published pediatric compliance research during the past two decades. Attention was directed toward identifying the theoretical underpinnings of the research, the research designs commonly used, the types of behaviors studied, the ages and pathology of the populations, and the measurement of compliance. The trends over time in each of the categories and the current state of adherence research in pediatric populations are identified.
A Medline search was conducted to identify studies related to adherence in pediatric populations published from 1970 to 1989. Given an emphasis on compliance to treatment or preventive regimen for medical conditions, studies on compliance with abstinence from substance abuse, alcohol, illicit drugs, or tobacco were not addressed. Review papers, thought pieces, and advice types of articles also were excluded. Research papers that included adults with children or