Education, adherence and health. The role of adherence in the SES Health gradient

  • Lenka de Lange Lenka de Lange

Background: Socio-economic status (SES) and health are related to each other: people with a lower SES live their lives on average in worse health. Multiple mechanisms mediating this relationship are already widely studied. However, still it is not perfectly understood what these mechanisms are behind the SES-health relationship. Researchers are still looking for explanations. In this study, treatment adherence will be studied as a potential mediator explaining the gradient. Aim: The purpose of this study is to examine the role of treatment adherence in the relation between education and health. The main question will be: “What is the relationship between education and treatment adherence?” Method: Both, patient’s and healthcare provider’s perspectives are used to find an answer to the main question. Asthma patients were asked about their level of education and treatment adherence. General practitioners and practice assistants were asked about their beliefs and experiences in the field. Regression analysis is done in the first perspective and an exploratory research in the second perspective. Results: At the demand side, no significant relation has been found between education and treatment adherence. However, the supply side shows a relation between education and treatment adherence. General practitioners and practice assistants believe higher education is positively associated with treatment adherence. Conclusion: Education does not influence treatment adherence significantly. We have to conclude that there is no significant relation between education and treatment adherence, although the healthcare perspective’s perspective shows there is. Most likely it’s the limited sample size that renders the estimate insignificant. Future research must try getting a larger sample size, which may lead to significance.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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