Adherence Behavior in the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

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Abstract

Adherence is critical to the overall management of individuals at risk for and with cardiovascular disease. It forms an interplay between the patient, provider, and health care system and includes barriers that have been encountered within all 3 domains. Improving adherence to exercise, diet, and medication as well as focusing on addictive disorders such as smoking cessation requires patient, provider, and health care system approaches. The use of the cognitive/behavioral elements of health behavior change and communication strategies such as motivational interviewing and coaching serve to enhance overall adherence. Continuous quality improvement initiatives at the system level of change also increase the likelihood that teams will succeed in helping individuals change their behavior. Cardiac rehabilitation programs offer a unique opportunity for health care professionals to play a key role in supporting individuals through the health behavior change process.

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