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J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Apr-May;29(3):157-69.

Pediatric adherence as a multidimensional and dynamic construct, involving a triadic partnership.

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McGill University Health Center, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Erratum in

  • J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Jul-Aug;29(5):following 404.



The aim of this paper is to integrate and draw attention to research findings that support our conceptualization of adherence as being multidimensional, dynamic, and involving a triadic partnership.


A review of relevant articles found in Medline, PsychLit, and reference lists provided in pertinent articles was performed.


Significant progress has been made in identifying disease-related and psychosocial correlates of pediatric adherence and in developing intervention programs to promote adherence. Both lines of work have proceeded without a unifying framework for conceptualizing and measuring pediatric adherence. We offer a model that views adherence as comprising three defining aspects: (a) multidimensional, in support of the complexity and interrelatedness of treatment components, (b) a triadic partnership, as in mutually influential exchanges within and among the caregiver-medical team, child-medical team, and caregiver-child relationships, and (c) dynamic in relation to the notion of changes in developmental adaptive capacity, contextual characteristics, and disease course.


Much work has yet to be done to validate, refine, and extend our model of adherence. Recommendations are offered for assessing each defining aspect, and a group-based methodology that accommodates longitudinal, prospective data is described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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