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Editor's Correspondence |

Medication Adherence and Physician Communication Skills—Reply

Derjung M. Tarn, MD, PhD; John Heritage, PhD; Neil S. Wenger, MD, MPH
Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(8):859-860. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.8.860.
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Aladesanmi raises important aspects of physician-patient communication that were not central to our study of new medication information transfer. We agree that eliciting the patient's perspective and assessing patient understanding are critical to effective communication about complex clinical topics such as new medication. In our study of 185 patients prescribed 244 new medications, only 1 physician attempted to assess patient understanding about the newly prescribed medication. This physician asked “Now, do you understand all of this stuff?” and “Does it make sense to you?” but did not ask the patient to repeat the instructions, a technique that helps patients to retain information.1

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