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Dermatology is a medical specialty in which successful patient outcomes are often dependent on strict adherence to treatment protocols. This may be difficult for some patients to achieve. Adherence in Dermatology by Scott A Davis addresses the issue of patient compliance from a multi-faceted perspective and this book aims to provide clinicians with tools to optimise patient adherence.

It explains patient-related factors (e.g. motivation, self-efficacy, behavioural and cognitive aspects), clinician-related factors (e.g. communication skills, consultations and drug counselling), organisational factors (e.g. appointments, follow-up and non-attendance) and relational factors (e.g. the doctor-patient relationship and working with adolescent patients). This information helps readers to predict which patients are less likely to adhere to treatment and to consider helpful interventions to increase treatment compliance. Suggestions for strategies to deal with specific issues with treatment adherence are provided. Some of these interventions are practical things that can be used by patients (e.g. written action plans, reminders, alarms, record keeping, apps and pill organisers), whereas others are important considerations for the clinician such as establishing a rapport with the patient, selecting an appropriate treatment for the patient and communicating treatment risk effectively.

Furthermore, treatment adherence in common dermatological conditions is addressed, with acne, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis being discussed in dedicated chapters. It can be a challenge for patients to apply topical treatments regularly or to take steroids and other medications such as acitretin, methotrexate and biologics. It examines these problems to provide insight into why these treatments are discontinued and how this can be prevented by the clinician.

The book is easy to read due to its language, structure and content. It is presented in simple language and structured into shorter sections, simulating the style of research papers. It cites evidence from published research throughout the text in support of the facts it presents. The book does not assume any previous or background knowledge in the subject or specialty, hence terminology and key concepts are explained as if the reader is a beginner. Therefore, this book would be suitable for both medical students and fully qualified healthcare professionals, as well as researchers.

Although the title would suggest that Adherence in Dermatology is primarily of benefit to dermatologists and other healthcare professionals working with skin conditions, the principles of the book can be applied to any specialty or clinical context where patient compliance and cooperation is key.

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Razan Nour

Ulster Hospital, Belfast.

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