[Symptom experience, causal attribution and adherence to therapeutic regimens: patients with hypertension].

Shiah Lian Chen*, Jen Chen Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Symptoms are the most important factor leading patients to seek medical help from health professionals. However, symptoms not directly supported by physiological and pathological evidence are often classified as being of emotional or psychological origin. Symptoms reflect an individual's subjective experience of physical-psycho-social functions, perception or cognition. Prior to implementing symptom management strategies, nurses should clarify patient symptom experiences and the meaning of such to patients. Individuals naturally seek symptoms based on physician diagnoses. When experiencing uncomfortable physical symptoms, individuals seek to label symptoms and accept medical advice based on their personal illness perception. In light of such, non-adherence to treatment recommendations may reflect inconsistencies between medical advice and patient symptom or illness diagnosis perception. In this paper, the author addresses relationships among symptom experience, symptom/illness attributions and therapeutic regimen adherence. Results identify the significant role that symptom experience plays in adherence to therapeutic regimens in patients with hypertension and suggests recommended revisions to clinical education in order to reflect such.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


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