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Keywords:

  • pharmacists;
  • compliance;
  • concordance;
  • discourse analysis;
  • interaction

Abstract

Medication review is an advanced service registered pharmacists can now offer patients in the UK. This in-depth study of pharmacist-older patient communication during domiciliary medication review encounters examines how the interactions are constructed by participants and the influence of the compliance paradigm on the interaction. Twenty-nine observed, taped and transcribed consultations were analysed using discourse analysis. Ethnographic-style interviews in the field with pharmacists, follow-up interviews with patients and feedback workshops with pharmacists allowed interpretations to be tested and strengthened. The findings presented here use discourse analysis to look at the task-driven nature of the medication review encounters. The analysis explores the interactional format of three over-lapping phases of the consultations: (i) introductions and agenda setting; (ii) screening and testing patients’ ability to comply; and, (iii) investigating over-the-counter medicines. Analysis suggests that a dominant compliance paradigm encourages pharmacist-led encounters with patients failing to engage in the medication review process. Little evidence of two-way reciprocated discussion or concordance was evident. The strategic nature of the discourse of compliance heard in these medication review encounters and its effect on older patients are discussed. The paper concludes with a consideration of the implications for pharmacy practice and policy development.