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BMJ. 2002 Oct 19;325(7369):873.

Patients' decisions about whether or not to take antihypertensive drugs: qualitative study.

Author information

  • 1General Practice and Primary Care Research Unit, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge CB2 2SR. jab62@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the ways in which patients taking antihypertensive drugs balance reservations against reasons for taking them.

DESIGN:

Qualitative study using detailed interviews.

SETTING:

Two urban general practices in the United Kingdom.

PARTICIPANTS:

Maximum variety sample of 38 interviewees receiving repeat prescriptions for antihypertensives.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Interviewees' reservations about drugs and reasons for taking antihypertensives.

RESULTS:

Patients had reservations about drugs generally and reservations about antihypertensives specifically. Reasons for taking antihypertensive drugs comprised positive experiences with doctors, perceived benefits of medication, and pragmatic considerations. Patients weighed their reservations against reasons for taking antihypertensives in a way that made sense for them personally. Some individual patients weighed different reservations against different reasons for taking antihypertensives.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patients' ideas may derive from considerations unrelated to the drugs' pharmacology. Doctors who want their patients to make well informed choices about antihypertensives and to reach concordant decisions about prescribing should explore how individuals strike this balance, to personalise discussion of drug use.

PMID:
12386041
PMCID:
PMC129637
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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