Training Psychiatric Patients to Discuss Medication Issues: Effects on Patient Communication and Knowledge of Medications

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Psychiatric inpatients were randomly assigned to a medication-related communication skills program or to a control condition that consisted of a medication education program. The medication communication program emphasized learning to ask physicians questions about medications, to describe current problems, and to make relevant requests. Although patients in both groups improved their knowledge of medications, the medication communication skills program had the added impact of teaching patients to ask more questions of a doctor and to engage in longer conversations. Moreover, patients who completed the medication communication program were rated as more assertive, as having acquired more information about a new medication that was prescribed, as having greater social skill, as being more likely to be compliant with medication, and as having greater eye contact. These results suggest that the use of a medication-related communication skills program may be a somewhat novel and effective way to increase patient involvement in treatment and to facilitate the elicitation of information about the prescribed medication regimen.

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Behavior Modification, v. 15, issue 1, p. 3-21