FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Ineffective communication is
a major player when patients don't properly take medication as
prescribed, a new study finds.
"Communication matters. Thirty percent of people [in the study] were not necessarily taking their medications the way their doctors thought they were," study lead author Dr. Neda Ratanawongsa, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at University of California, San Francisco, said in a university news release.
"Rates for non-adherence were 4 to 6 percent lower for patients who felt their doctors listened to them, involved them in decisions and gained their trust. By supporting doctors in developing meaningful relationships with their patients, we could help patients take better care of themselves," she added.
The study authors reached their conclusions after giving
questionnaires to more than 9,000 patients who took drugs to lower
their blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol. They completed
items on how they communicated with their doctors, and the
researchers checked their prescription records to see if they were
properly taking their medications.
Andrew Karter, a senior research scientist with the Kaiser
Permanente research division who assisted with the study, pointed
out what was unique about the findings. "We found that medication
adherence is better if the physician has established a trusting
relationship with the patient and prioritizes the quality of
communication, even if that communication is not specifically
focused on medication adherence," he said in the news release.
The study was published in the Dec. 31 issue of
JAMA Internal Medicine, formerly known as the
Archives of Internal Medicine.
For more about
taking medication, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.