Parental and Child Knowledge
of the Treatment Regimen for Childhood
Chronic Illnesses: Related Factors
and Adherence to Treatment
Carolyn E. Ievers-Landis
Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland, OH
Knowledge of the treatment regimen has been identified as a prerequisite for the child and family to manage the treatment-related tasks of a chronic illness ( Ievers et al., in press; Johnson, 1984; La Greca & Schuman , 1995; Rusakow et al., 1998). Nevertheless, knowledge of the specific tasks of recommended treatments is not in itself sufficient for successful management of illness-related medical tasks because other factors may impede the ability of children with a chronic illness and their parents to adhere to the treatment regimen ( Johnson, 1984). Despite this, parents of children with chronic illnesses cannot be expected to responsibly oversee the day-to-day administration of medical treatments for their children unless they are fully versed in the specifics of what has been prescribed. Knowledge of the treatment regimen is therefore a necessary if not sufficient ingredient for successful adherence for children with a chronic illness. Consequently, parents and children must be thoroughly educated about medically recommended treatments.
In marked contrast to the potential importance of knowledge of the treatment regimen to adherence, this component has been understudied and not well defined by researchers ( Ievers et al., in press). Moreover, inadequate definitions of knowledge have limited scientific understanding of (a) the magnitude of the problem of gaps or inaccuracies in parental or child knowledge of the treatment regimen, and (b) the rela-