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What do patients want to know about their medicines, and what do doctors want to tell them?: a comparative study

Berry, D. C., Michas, I. C., Gillie, T. and Forster, M. (1997) What do patients want to know about their medicines, and what do doctors want to tell them?: a comparative study. Psychology and Health, 12 (4). pp. 467-480. ISSN 0887-0446

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/08870449708406723


A two phase study is reported. In the first phase, we asked a number of doctors to rate a list of information categories (identified by Berry, Gillie and Banbury 1995) in terms of how important they felt it was for the items to be included in an explanation to a patient about a drug prescription. In the second phase, we presented a large sample of people with a scenario about visiting their doctor and being prescribed medication, together with an explanation about the prescription which was said to be provided by the doctor. Four different explanations were compared, which were either based on what people in our earlier study wanted to know about drug prescriptions or on what the doctors thought it was important lo tell them. We also manipulated whether or not the explanations conveyed negative information (e.g. about the possible side effects of the medication). The results showed that people 'preferred' the explanations based on what the participants in the earlier study wanted to know about their medicines, rather than those based on what the doctors thought they should be told. They also 'preferred' the explanations that did not convey negative information, rather than those that did convey some negative information. In addition, the inclusion of negative information affected ratings of likely compliance with the prescribed medication.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:4669
Uncontrolled Keywords:Patient information; doctor-patient communication; explanation; written information about drug prescriptions; compliance with medication
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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