Date of Award


Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



Committee Chair

Louise O'Keefe


Patient education, Patient compliance


Medication adherence occurs when patients take prescribed medications as directed by their healthcare provider and is critical to patient outcomes in clinical settings. Nonadherence has been linked to disease progression, increased hospitalizations, and poor quality of life. This scholarly project was developed to improve patient adherence with prescribed medications in a community free clinic setting. A review of current literature demonstrated that delivery of patient education regarding medications by using more than one teaching format may improve patient adherence. Project participants were selected from current patients of the Community Free Clinic in Huntsville, Alabama. Thirty patients participated in the project, which was conducted from November 2015 through January 2016. A process change involving delivery of medication teaching using verbal, written, and illustrated formats was implemented to teach patients about their prescribed medications. Patients were initially assessed regarding medication adherence and then again on followup visits to discuss adherence and explore reasons for missing doses. Results demonstrated improved self-efficacy and increased adherence behaviors among patients who participated in the project. This improvement in adherence and self-efficacy has the potential to positively impact patient health and disease progression in addition to improving quality of life for patients. This project serves to demonstrate the importance and feasibility of developing interventions based on current evidence and tailored to individual patient needs. Utilization of different methods of education delivery has the potential to improve patient outcomes in many clinical settings.



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