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Posted: April 22nd, 2023

Medication adherence in the United States remains suboptimal

Medication adherence in the United States remains suboptimal; medication nonadherence is a complex issue that requires patience, presence, and perspective. One strategy that has been helpful for improving adherence is a combination of psychotherapy and psychoeducation,which is client-centered and free from counselor agenda. As clinicians, we are not here to coerce, manipulate, or otherwise unduly influence a client to take their medications. Counseling is a safe place to explore what the client is experiencing and thinking;clients needs a safe place to share concerns and explore options. Clients do not lose their rights to autonomy when they enter counseling and receive mental health/ substance use disorder diagnoses. Clinicians remain focused on the client’s initial presenting issues and concerns without inserting a counselor agenda and bias; treatment includes psychotherapy, intervention and education. Clients often are more likely to consider medications when they believe that they are deciding independently, without coercion, to make needed changes. Motivational interviewing (open-ended questions, affirmations, reflection, and summarizations) and empathy are very helpful for enhancing the client’s knowledge about medications, feelings of self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and medication adherence.

Assignment (3 pages)

Give a minimum of four (4) reasons why a client might engage in medication nonadherence.
What are systemic barriers to medication adherence? Give at least one (1) cultural example where medication nonadherence is a factor that we might face.
What are counseling techniques that have the potential to improve adherence?
What are counseling techniques that have the potential to decrease adherence?
What is appropriate information for you to get from the prescriber, that might help you when working with your client around medication adherence and nonadherence?
How would you want to be treated if you were in your client’s shoes, skeptical about the use of medications for treatment of mental health and/or substance use disorders?
Assignment will be 3 pages in length, not including cover page or references page. Be sure to support your Assignment with specific references from the literature, text, and resources. In addition to the Learning Resources, the internet for peer-reviewed academic literature to support your Assignment. This Assignment must utilize appropriate APA format and citations.


Medication adherence is a complex issue that affects a significant number of individuals in the United States. Medication nonadherence refers to the failure to take medications as prescribed. This can occur for various reasons, including side effects, cost, lack of knowledge about the medication, forgetfulness, or simply not believing that the medication is necessary. In this assignment, we will explore the reasons for medication nonadherence, systemic barriers to adherence, cultural examples, counseling techniques that have the potential to improve adherence, and appropriate information for the prescriber.

Reasons for Medication Nonadherence:

Side effects: One of the most common reasons for medication nonadherence is side effects. Medications used to treat mental health and substance use disorders can have side effects that are unpleasant and difficult to manage. Clients may stop taking their medication to avoid these side effects.

Cost: Another significant barrier to medication adherence is the cost of medications. Some clients may not be able to afford their medications or may prioritize other expenses over medication costs.

Lack of knowledge about the medication: Clients may not fully understand the purpose and benefits of their medications. This lack of knowledge can lead to skepticism and ultimately nonadherence.

Stigma: Clients may feel stigmatized by their mental health or substance use disorder diagnosis, leading them to avoid taking their medication.

Systemic Barriers to Medication Adherence:

Systemic barriers to medication adherence are structural and social factors that impact a client’s ability to adhere to their medication regimen. Examples include:

Lack of access to healthcare: Clients who lack access to healthcare may not be able to obtain their medication or receive regular follow-up care.

Transportation barriers: Clients who live in rural areas or who lack access to reliable transportation may struggle to obtain their medication.

Health insurance coverage: Clients who lack health insurance may not be able to afford their medication or may not be able to access the healthcare services necessary to obtain their medication.

Cultural Example:

In some cultures, medication nonadherence may be a factor due to beliefs about illness and treatment. For example, some cultures may believe that illness is a result of spiritual imbalance or a punishment from a higher power. This belief system may lead individuals to avoid taking medication, preferring instead to seek spiritual healing or traditional remedies.

Counseling Techniques to Improve Adherence:

Motivational Interviewing: Motivational interviewing is a client-centered counseling technique that helps clients identify and overcome their ambivalence about medication use. The approach involves open-ended questions, affirmations, reflection, and summarization to help the client explore their feelings and beliefs about medication use.

Psychoeducation: Providing clients with information about their medication and its benefits can increase their knowledge and reduce skepticism.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help clients identify and challenge negative beliefs about medication use. The therapy also helps clients develop skills to manage side effects and other barriers to adherence.

Counseling Techniques to Decrease Adherence:

Counseling techniques that have the potential to decrease adherence include coercion, manipulation, and pressure to take medication. Clients may feel disrespected and mistrustful of the counselor’s agenda and may be less likely to engage in treatment.

Information from the Prescriber:

Clinicians can obtain information from the prescriber, such as the purpose of the medication, potential side effects, and strategies to manage side effects. This information can be helpful in educating the client about their medication and addressing concerns related to side effects and efficacy.

Treatment if Skeptical about Medication Use:

If a client is skeptical about medication use, the clinician should respect their autonomy and explore their concerns and beliefs about medication use. The clinician can provide psychoeducation about the medication and

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