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Title: Investigating strategies used by hospital pharmacists to effectively communicate with patients during medication counselling
Authors: Chevalier, BAM
Watson, BM 
Barras, MA
Cottrell, WN
Keywords: Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT)
Hospital pharmacist
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Source: Health expectations, 2017, v. 20, no. 5, p. 1121-1132 How to cite?
Journal: Health expectations 
Abstract: BackgroundMedication counselling opportunities are key times for pharmacists and patients to discuss medications and patients' concerns about their therapy. Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) describes behavioural, motivational and emotional processes underlying communication exchanges. Five CAT strategies (approximation, interpretability, discourse management, emotional expression and interpersonal control) permit identification of effective communication. ObjectiveTo invoke CAT to investigate communication strategies used by hospital pharmacists during patient medication counselling. DesignThis was a theory-based, qualitative study using transcribed audiorecordings of patients and hospital pharmacists engaged in medication counselling. Setting and participantsRecruited pharmacists practised in inpatient or outpatient settings. Eligible patients within participating pharmacists' practice sites were prescribed at least three medications to manage chronic disease(s). Main outcome measuresThe extent to which pharmacists accommodate, or not, to patients' conversational needs based on accommodative behaviour described within CAT strategies. ResultsTwelve pharmacists engaged four patients (48 total interactions). Exemplars provided robust examples of pharmacists effectively accommodating or meeting patients' conversational needs. Non-accommodation mainly occurred when pharmacists spoke too quickly, used terms not understood by patients and did not include patients in the agenda-setting phase. Multiple strategy use resulted in communication patterns such as information-reassurance-rationale sandwiches. Discussion and conclusionsMost pharmacists effectively employed all five CAT strategies to engage patients in discussions. Pharmacists' communication could be improved at the initial agenda-setting phase by asking open-ended questions to invite patients' input and allow patients to identify any medication-related concerns or issues.
ISSN: 1369-6513
EISSN: 1369-7625
DOI: 10.1111/hex.12558
Rights: © 2017 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The following publication Chevalier BAM, Watson BM, Barras MA, Cottrell WN. Investigating strategies used by hospital pharmacists to effectively communicate with patients during medication counselling. Health Expect. 2017;20:1121–1132 is available at
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