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Br J Gen Pract. Oct 1994; 44(387): 465–468.
PMCID: PMC1239021

Patients' ideas about medicines: a qualitative study in a general practice population.

Abstract

BACKGROUND. Little attention has been paid to patients' ideas about medicines and such ideas might well have relevance for understanding non-adherence to medication. AIM. This qualitative study set out to describe the ideas about medicines and the self-reported adherence to medication of a general practice population. METHOD. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 30 adult patients (attenders and non-attenders) from two general practices. RESULTS. The main themes emerging from the analysis were: perceived properties of medicines; orientation towards medicines, that is, patients' general preference for taking or not taking medication; and actual usage of medicines. The data revealed that on the one hand much medicine taking was taken for granted and on the other hand that patients had many fears and powerful negative images of medicines. CONCLUSION. Any assessment of the appropriateness of a proposed treatment for an individual patient should include an exploration of his or her preferences, orientation towards medicines and social context.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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