An educational framework for managing and supporting medication adherence in Europe


  • Simon White School of Pharmacy, Keele University
  • Wendy Clyne Applied Centre in Health and Lifestyles Interventions, Coventry University
  • Comfort Mshelia Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, University of Leeds


Education and Training, Health Professionals, Medication Adherence


Introduction: Decisions about taking medicines ultimately lie with patients, so health professionals need to engage with patients to manage and support medication adherence. Health professionals need appropriate education to do this. We aimed to develop an educational framework for health professionals in Europe for managing and supporting medication adherence.

Description of the framework: The resulting educational framework comprises a competency framework, a curriculum, a diagnostic tool for competence assessment and a reading list.

Quality assurance: Framework development started from a 2007 competency framework for shared decision-making. A literature review and a Europe-wide consultation were conducted and the ABC research team acted as a reference group.

Implementation: The educational framework was distributed to schools of pharmacy, medicine and nursing in 16 European countries and 70 health profession organisations. Its wide distribution and easy availability should make it easier for learning about medication adherence to be incorporated into existing curricula. 


Clyne, W., Granby, T., & Picton, C. (2007) A competency framework for shared decision-making with patients (on-line). Available at: non_medical/resources/competency_framework_2007.pdf. Accessed 13th May, 2013.

Cribb, A. (2011) Involvement, Shared Decision-Making and Medicines. London: Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association, University of Cincinnati, Healthcare Performance Consulting and University of Virginia Health System (2008). Just What the Doctor Ordered: A system approach to assessing patient adherence (on- line). Available at: 46347/ adherence.pdf. Accessed 13th May, 2013.

NICE (2011) Review of Clinical Guideline (CG76) - Medicines Adherence: involving patients in decisions about prescribed medicines and supporting adherence. London: National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence.

Schneider, M. & Aslani, P. (2010) Adherence policy, education and practice – an international perspective. Pharmacy Practice, 8(4), 209-212.

von Fragstein, M., Silverman, J., Cushing, A., Quilligan, S., Salisbury, H. & Wiskin, C., on behalf of the UK Council for Clinical Communication Skills Teaching in Undergraduate Medical Education. (2008). UK consensus statement on the content of communication curricula in undergraduate medical education. Medical Education, 42(11), 1100-1107.





Research Article