Positive Psychological Determinants of Treatment Adherence Among Primary Care Patients

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Patient adherence to medical treatment recommendations can affect disease prognosis, and may be beneficially or deleteriously influenced by psychological factors.AimWe examined the relationships between both adaptive and maladaptive psychological factors and treatment adherence among a sample of primary care patients.MethodsOne hundred and one rural, primary care patients completed the Life Orientation Test-Revised, Trait Hope Scale, Future Orientation Scale, NEO-FFI Personality Inventory (measuring positive and negative affect), and Medical Outcomes Study General Adherence Scale.FindingsIn independent models, positive affect, optimism, hope, and future orientation were beneficially associated with treatment adherence, whereas pessimism and negative affect were negatively related to adherence. In multivariate models, only negative affect, optimism and hope remained significant and, in a comparative model, trait hope was most robustly associated with treatment adherence.ImplicationsTherapeutically, addressing negative emotions and expectancies, while simultaneously bolstering motivational and goal-directed attributes, may improve adherence to treatment regimens.