Barriers to adherence to medical recommendations following adolescent injury.

Katharine Donlon, Amy L. Meadows, Meghan L. Marsac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Adherence to treatment recommendations following medical care for pediatric conditions is important for promoting optimal physical and psychological well-being. The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of the potential barriers to adherence following injuries in adolescents. Method: Ten adolescents aged 14–17 (9 male) and their parents participated in semistructured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded for analysis of themes related to adherence and barriers to adherence. Results: Results indicated that adolescents may encounter a number of barriers to adherence, including concern about pain medication addiction, competing activities in conflict with medical recommendations, desire for autonomy, and emotional responses to their injury and associated treatment. Conclusions: Thus, although more research is needed to better understand how these factors affect later outcomes, medical teams may want to consider facilitating discussion about potential barriers to adherence while working with adolescents and their parents to support optimal recovery. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)Implications for Impact Statement: The present study suggests that adolescents encounter numerous barriers to adhering to their medical recommendations after sustaining an injury. Given the potential consequences associated with poor adherence, these barriers may contribute to the future development and evaluation of interventions to promote optimal postinjury recovery. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Psychological Association


  • adherence
  • adolescence
  • barriers
  • pediatric injury
  • recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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