Challenges to physician-patient communication about medication use: A window into the skeptical patient's world

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Abstract

Patients frequently do not take medicines as prescribed and often do not communicate with their physicians about their medication-taking behavior. The movement for "patientcentered" care has led to relabeling of this problem from "noncompliance" to "nonadherence" and later to a rhetoric of "concordance" and "shared decision making" in which physicians and patients are viewed as partners who ideally come to agreement about appropriate treatment. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of online comments to a New York Times article on low rates of medication adherence. The online discussion provides data about how a highly selected, educated sample of patients thinks about medication use and the doctor-patient relationship. Our analysis revealed patient empowerment and self-reliance, considerable mistrust of medications and medical practice, and frequent noncommunication about medication adherence issues. We discuss how these observations can potentially be understood with reference to Habermas's theory of communicative action, and conclude that physicians can benefit from better understanding the negative ways in which some patients perceive physicians' prescribing practices. © 2012 Bezreh et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

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Bezreh, T., Barton Laws, M., Taubin, T., Rifkin, D. E., & Wilson, I. B. (2012). Challenges to physician-patient communication about medication use: A window into the skeptical patient’s world. Patient Preference and Adherence, 6, 11–18. https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S25971

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