When it comes to prescribing medications to their patients, physicians could use a dose of extra training, according to a new study led by a UCLA researcher.
In previous studies, Dr. Derjung Tarn and her colleagues found that when doctors prescribed medicines, the information they provided to patients was spotty at best, they rarely addressed the cost of medications and they didn’t adequately monitor their patients’ medication adherence.
The logical next step, Tarn said, was to devise an intervention aimed at improving how physicians communicate to their patients five basic facts about a prescribed medication: the medication’s name, its purpose, the directions for its use, the duration of use and the potential side effects. And it appears to have worked.
Tarn and her co-researchers found that physicians who completed the training demonstrated a significant improvement in how they communicated this crucial information. Compared to a control group that didn’t receive the training, these doctors discussed at least one additional topic out of the five