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How can nurse prescribers ensure effective medicine taking behaviour from patients?

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  • Article: Sibley A (2012) How effective are nurses’ medicine discussions? Nursing Times; 108: 22/23, 20-22.

Key points

  1. Guidance on effective medicine discussion indicates that patients’ medicine beliefs are a strong predictor of medicine-taking behaviour
  2. Despite favourable comparison with research on doctor-patient medication discussion, nurse prescribers’ practice may not fully optimise patient medicine taking
  3. Research suggests nurses discuss issues that address the “unintentional” rather than “intentional” reasons for non-adherence
  4. Patients should be given opportunities to initiate medicines discussions
  5. Nurses need continuing professional development to help them to explore patients’ medicine beliefs

Let’s discuss

  • What do the terms compliance, non-adherence and non-concordance mean?
  • Think about a patient. What information would you give them about their prescribed medicines?
  • Why do you think patients fail to take their prescribed medicines?
  • How would you structure a consultation with a patient to improve concordance with taking their medicines?

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