Tips to Improve Patient Adherence to Supplements

Tips to Improve Patient Adherence to Supplements

Aug 8, 2023 | Dietary Health

Ensuring patients consistently follow their prescribed supplement intake is a crucial (though challenging) part of achieving positive health outcomes and maintaining patient satisfaction. Here are a few practical strategies and expert insights to help you overcome the challenges associated with patient adherence and foster a more engaged patient community.

Understand Patient Adherence

An adherent patient, by definition, takes at least 80% of their prescribed medication including supplements.  Poor adherence can result in suboptimal treatment outcomes, increased healthcare costs, and diminished satisfaction.

The Role of Communication in Enhancing Adherence

Effective communication between provider and patients plays a vital role in fostering adherence. Patients are more likely to adhere to their prescribed supplement regimens when they have a strong rapport with their doctors, ensuring that they feel heard and understood. Clear and concise explanations from health professionals about the importance of supplements and their role in the treatment process have been proven to motivate patients to adhere to their regimens.

One compelling study explored which factors had the biggest impact on non-adherence rates among post-surgery bariatric patients who were prescribed a multivitamin supplement (MVS) regimen.

The most common reasons cited by 28.5% of the participants for scoring poorly on these factors included receiving “too general information” about MVS (57.1%), having their “personal preferences not taken into account” (51.0%), and not receiving adequate information about MVS during medical consultations due to time constraints (36.5%).

Although this study involved a specific type of patient, the sentiments are consistent with other general patients who have been prescribed supplements by their doctors.

“By taking the time to engage in meaningful conversations with patients, healthcare providers can instill confidence and trust in treatment plans, leading to improved adherence rates.”

Tailor Supplement Regimens to Individual Needs

A common risk factor for non-adherence is supplements that are not tailored to an individual’s preferences. Each patient’s healthcare journey is unique, and supplement regimens should reflect that individuality. Personalized supplement plans are crucial for enhancing patient buy-in and increasing adherence rates. When you take into account a patient’s specific needs, preferences and lifestyle factors, you demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care.

To create personalized supplement regimens, thorough assessments – including medical history, current health status, and any concurrent medications or chronic diseases – are great places to start. Additionally, considering patients’ dietary preferences and restrictions can contribute to the overall acceptability and adherence to the prescribed supplements.

Provide Comprehensive Patient Education

As you know, education is key to patient empowerment, and supplement information for patients is no exception. The time you invest in educating patients about supplements can provide a clear understanding of the benefits, potential side effects and proper administration.

Comprehensive education not only increases patients’ knowledge about their supplements but also empowers them to take an active role in managing their health. Patients who are well-informed are more likely to make informed decisions and adhere to their treatment plans more consistently.

To provide effective resources, providers can utilize visual aids, written materials, and make it a point to follow-up on adherence during patient consultations. Encourage your patients to ask questions and seek clarification whenever necessary, which promotes a sense of engagement and ownership in their treatment journey.

Address Barriers to Adherence

Identifying and addressing barriers to adherence is crucial for improving patient compliance. Healthcare professionals should engage in open discussions with patients to understand any challenges they face in adhering to their supplement regimens. By proactively seeking feedback and insights from your patients, you can gain valuable information about potential barriers and develop tailored solutions.

Barriers to adherence vary widely, but may include:

  • forgetfulness
  • fear of side effects
  • complex dosing schedules
  • financial constraints
  • lack of belief in the supplement’s efficacy.

Addressing these barriers may involve simplifying dosing regiment, offering alternative formulations, providing access to financial assistance programs, and addressing misconceptions through education. By educating your patients and taking a proactive and empathetic approach to overcoming adherence challenges, you can strengthen the patient-provider relationship and foster a more positive and supportive healthcare environment.

Encourage Patient Accountability

Promoting patient accountability is essential for long-term treatment adherence and success. Patients who feel accountable for their own health are more likely to take ownership of their treatment plans and adhere to their prescribed supplement regimens. One effective way to encourage patient accountability is by having patients keep a daily journal of their supplement intake.

The journal can include the date, time, and dosage of each supplement taken, as well as any observations or side effects experienced. Patients can share these journals with their healthcare team during follow-up appointments, enabling a comprehensive and systematic review of adherence patterns and any challenges faced.

During these follow-up discussions, your team can offer praise for consistent adherence, address any concerns or difficulties, and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. This collaborative approach empowers patients to actively participate in their care, leading to improved adherence and better treatment outcomes.

Leverage Your Distributor for Patient Support

A significant challenge in maintaining patient adherence is ensuring they have a consistent supply of supplements. Patients may forget to reorder their supplements or face inconvenience in getting refills promptly. At Doctors Supplement Store, we offer an auto ship feature to address this issue effectively.

With the auto ship feature, patients can set up automatic refills of their chosen supplements at regular intervals. This ensures that patients receive their supplements on time, without the need for constant reminders for reordering. The convenience of the auto ship not only encourages patients to stay on track with their supplement regimens but also fosters a sense of ease and reliability in their treatment journey.


Improving patient adherence to supplement regimens is an ongoing process that requires dedication, effective communication, personalized care, and the utilization of technological solutions. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, you can create a supportive and engaged patient community, leading to improved adherence, better treatment outcomes, enhanced patient well-being, and overall patient satisfaction.

As you continue to prioritize patient adherence, our team at Doctors Supplement Store stands as a reliable and supportive ally, dedicated to improving patient outcomes and overall satisfaction.

Key Takeaways

We know you have a busy schedule, so in case you’re skimming this article in between appointments, here is a quick summary of what we covered.

How can I reduce patient non-adherence to supplement regimens?

Fostering effective communication, tailoring supplement regimens to individual needs, providing comprehensive education, leveraging technology for adherence support, addressing barriers to adherence among patients, and encouraging patient accountability are all great steps to take to reduce patient non adherence.

What role does effective physician-patient communication play in improving adherence?

Effective communication between you and your patients builds trust and encourages them to follow their prescribed supplement regimens more diligently. It helps patients feel heard, understood, and confident in their treatment plans.

Why is personalized care important for patient adherence?

Personalized care plans take into account individual patient needs and preferences, making patients more likely to adhere to their supplement regimens. It demonstrates a commitment to patient-centered care, leading to improved patient engagement and compliance.

How can I address barriers to adherence?

You can identify barriers through open discussions with patients and find solutions to overcome them, which may include adjusting regimens, providing educational materials, offering financial assistance, or involving support from other healthcare team members.

How does patient accountability influence adherence rates?

Encouraging patients to take responsibility for their supplement intake, such as keeping a daily journal, helps promote adherence to treatment regimen and improves long-term treatment outcomes. It empowers patients to actively participate in their care, leading to a sense of ownership and commitment to their treatment journey.

Interested In Having More Visibility Of Your Patient’s Supplement Regimen?

Doctors Supplement Store provides a seamless and user-friendly online supplement dispensary, allowing you to easily recommend and dispense supplements to your patients. With a wide range of high-quality supplements available, you can tailor treatment plans to meet each patient’s unique needs, fostering improved patient adherence and better treatment outcomes.

Contact us today to learn more about our online supplement dispensary and start serving your patients better. We’re here to support you, working together to grow patient adherence and elevate the quality of care you provide!