Education And Debate

Ask the patients—they may want to know more than you think

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 09 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:861
  1. David Dickinson, consultant in consumer information design (,
  2. D K Theo Raynor, professor of pharmacy practice, medicines and their users2
  1. 1 Consumation, 53 Hosack Road, London SW17 7QW,
  2. 2 Pharmacy Practice and Medicines Management Group, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT
  1. Correspondence to: D Dickinson

    What information do patients need about medicines? Partnership between health professionals and patients depends, in part, on the provision and exchange of accurate and reliable information about drugs, but who should provide it? We invited contributors to answer the question from the perspectives of patients, clinicians, and the pharmaceutical industry

    People's appetite for information about their treatment is often greater than doctors believe.1 Clearly, patients vary in the extent of their desire for partnership in making medical decisions. It follows that part of the duty of a health professional is to work out how much partnership a patient wants, and what information he or she needs to support that level of partnership.2 3

    What do people want to know?

    People have a broad range of information preferences that may differ at …

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