Medication Interest from a Child’s Needs

Mar 13, 2017

“To flee from insecurity is to miss the whole point of being human.”

Peter Bertocci

Medication Interest from a Child’s Needs

TISA Description of the Problem: As described in the Medication Interest Model (MIM), every person is unique. Consequently each person’s motivation for using a medication will be unique. Sometimes the most powerful reasons for taking medications are to be alive for one’s children (thus a patient takes an antihypertensive medication not only to prevent a heart attack for himself or herself but because they do not want their children to be without a father or mother). In the following intriguing clinical interviewing tip, the clinician puts an unexpected twist to this concept that I feel can be very effective (by the way I can’t find the identifying information regarding the participant in my workshop who provided this tip, if you recognize your tip please e-mail your name so I can acknowledge you).

Tip: Naturally, when prescribing medications I always have done a social history in which I will have learned about family members and children. Sometimes this information provides a useful platform for motivating a parent to be more invested in taking his or her own medications. I try to find out if the patient’s own children have an illness requiring a medication. If indeed the patient’s child does, and if indeed the child tends to have problems reliably taking the medication, I can say the following:

“In a strange but useful way, Mr. Peters, your taking your blood pressure medication, may indirectly help Timmy. You can now be a good role-model for him on the importance of taking a medication. You can let him know that you need a medication and that you now understand how easy it is to forget. And you can show him by example the importance of taking a medication. This sharing of both the illnesses you are each coping with and the problems associated with taking medications for them can actually be very bonding for the two of you. I have even had patients tell me that they decide with their children to take their medications together. It could really help Timmy to feel more comfortable about taking his medications and less stigmatized about having his seizure disorder.”

TISA Follow-up: I find this clinical interviewing tip to be remarkably creative and have found it to be useful in practice. Try it out and see what you think.

Tip provided by:

Unknown workshop participant