The “Family Inquiry Strategy” for Increasing Medication Interest

Mar 09, 2017

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The “Family Inquiry Strategy” for Increasing Medication Interest

TISA Description of the Problem: A driving principle of the “Medication Interest Model”?(MIM) is helping patients to arrive at their own choice of medications. The MIM is a person-centered interviewing approach in which patient choice is the cornerstone. Edward Fasolino, M.D. suggests the following tip, which illustrates the philosophy of the MIM perfectly.

Tip: When first introducing a medication from a class of medications for a specific disorder, such as high blood pressure, I often ask the patient, “Is there anyone in your family that is taking a medication for high blood pressure?” If the patient responds affirmatively, I ask, “Do you know what it is called?” If they do, I ask, “Does it seem to be working well for them?”

If the patient feels that it is (and I think it would be a reasonable medication choice), I ask, “Would you like to try that medication to see if it might help you too?” I find that many patients respond very well to this approach.

TISA Follow-up: This tip is a nice example of effective person-centered clinical interviewing. It allows the patient to make his or her own choice, enhancing the likelihood of patient investment in taking the medication. If you would like to learn more about the more than forty other interviewing techniques currently described in the MIM, or would like to teach the principles of the MIM to your medical, nursing, or physician assistant students, you can learn all about them in the book, Improving Medication Adherence: How to Talk with Patients About Their Medications which you will find described (with book reviews and a sample chapter) on our TISA home page and which you can access by clicking on the large blue button “Book Four” that you will find there.

1. Shea, S. C.: Improving Medication Adherence: How to Talk with Patients About Their Medications. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006.

Tip provided by:

Edward Fasolino, M.D.

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