News

Word of the Week: Adherence

illustration of scientist looking into microscope - word of the week

Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Each week, Verywell explains a term from health, medicine, science, or technology.

Adherence

How to say it: Adherence (add-hear-ins)

What it means: When it's used in a medical context, it means to follow directions—like taking a prescription or doing things that are part of your treatment plan.

Where it comes from: The Latin word adhaerentia, which means "stick to."

A pharmacist talking to an older Black woman about medication.
 National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

Where you might see or hear it: Your doctor might write in your medical record that you have been adhering to your treatment plan if you have been following directions and meeting goals.

When you might want to use it: If you have not been taking your medications as prescribed or getting to your scheduled appointments, you might tell your doctor that you are finding it hard to adhere to your treatment plan.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.