Compliance with medical treatment can be an incredible obstacle for children and their families in addressing health problems. It has been estimated that adherence to prescribed medical treatments can be as low as 50% in pediatric populations. Finding ways to help children and their families with this problem can improve overall health dramatically.
Medical treatments for children with GI problems vary considerably. Children with encopresis are generally placed on a toileting schedule. Children with Celiac Disease are placed on dietary restrictions, children with Irritable Bowel Disease may take many medications with side effects that are unpleasant or require Remicade treatments or Humira shots that are administered on a regular basis. The child may see all of these treatments as a disruption to their lives, despite the health benefits of them.
In evaluating treatment compliance problems I consider family functioning and a child’s developmental and emotional issues. Problems in any or all of these areas will affect compliance. I tend to focus less on the specific medical regimen and more on the barriers to effective implementation of the treatment.
If your child or your family is struggling with a new diagnosis or treatment I am available to assist you in easing the transition and reducing resistance to the new treatment.