Willingness among Czech citizens to heed the recommendations of general medical practitioners

 A problematic element in the relationship between medical practitioners and patients is the adherence to a prescribed treatment regimen, which may include both physical activity and relevant medication. These measures are aimed at improving health; nonetheless, some patients do not abide by these recommended regimens.

In July 2015, the Institute for Evaluations and Social Analyses (INESAN) carried out research entitled “Health Awareness of Citizens of the Czech Republic”, which explored the attitudes of respondents towards their own health and their relationships with doctors. During the completed research, trained interviewers carried out a total of 1,100 personal interviews with respondents. Interviewees from age 18 to 64 were included in the sample using the quota sampling technique. The researched sample represents the basic population in regard to sex, age, size of place of residence, and region. Current data from the Czech Statistical Office was used in creating the selection.

Within the completed survey, roughly one third of respondents admitted to having disregarded the recommendations of a doctor, and 7% claimed to have disobeyed these recommendations repeatedly. Furthermore, research showed that at least 35% of respondents had carried out forbidden physical activity; on the contrary, 18% of respondents had neglected to take part in the physical activity recommended by a physician.

Graph: Adherence to medical practitioner’s recommendations

In terms of adhering to medications, there is an evident tendency towards less use of prescribed medications, especially in the case of antibiotics. Roughly one fifth of the respondents claimed to have used less medication than was prescribed by a physician, and 17% of respondents did not finish the whole package of prescribed antibiotics.

Age in combination with sex proved to be a differentiating factor in this regard. Medical practitioners’ recommendations to the prescribed doses of antibiotics were primarily ignored by middle-aged women, i.e. between 30 and 49, and men at a higher age, i.e. 50 and up (18% and 21% respectively). In regard to physical activity (either carrying out forbidden physical activity or not carrying out the physical activity recommended by a physician), primarily women of an older age did not respect their physicians’ recommendations. Among men, there is a larger portion of those in the 30 to 49 age category who do not respect the recommendations of physicians.