The Seven Stages of Man: The Role of Developmental Stage on Medication Adherence in Respiratory Diseases

Respiratory Effectiveness Group, Richard W Costello, Juliet M Foster, Jonathan Grigg, Michelle N Eakin, Walter Canonica, Fasail Yunus, Dermot Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The circumstances and drivers of the decision to initiate, implement, or persist with a medication differ for individuals at each developmental stage. For school-age children with asthma, the social environment of their family's cultural beliefs and the influence of peer networks and school policies are strong determinants of medication adherence. The stage of adolescence can be a particularly challenging time because there is a reduction in parental supervision of asthma management as the young person strives to become more autonomous. To illustrate the importance of such factors, adherence interventions in children and young adults with asthma have used peer-based supports and social supports, particularly social media platforms. In older patients, it is internal rather than external factors and age-related decline that pose challenges to medication adherence. Seniors face the challenges of polypharmacy, reduced social support, increased isolation, and loss of cognitive function. Strategies to promote adherence must be tailored to the developmental stage and respective behavioral determinants of the target group. This review considers the different attitudes toward medication and the different adherence behaviors in young and elderly patients with chronic respiratory conditions, specifically asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Opportunities to intervene to optimize adherence are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-20
Number of pages8
JournalThe journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice
Issue number5
Early online date30 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2016


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