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1. Introduction

1. Introduction
The aim of this review was to identify and summarise research on two-way communication between patients and health care professionals about medicines in order to inform the model of concordance. Concordance is defined as a new approach to the process of successful prescribing and medicine-taking which is based on partnership between patients and health professionals. In order for concordance to occur, it is necessary that patients and professionals have two-way discussions about medicines in which they exchange information and views about medicines. Therefore, by examining the findings of research about two-way communication about medicines, we hope to provide a greater understanding of the possibility of concordance being implemented in practice.
In this report we describe the findings of the research on patients' and health care professionals' communication behaviours, the factors affecting these behaviours, their impact and patients' and professionals' views about these behaviours. We then discuss the implications of these findings for the model of concordance. In particular we aimed to:
  • assess the extent to which elements of concordance have been identified in practice,
  • assess the impact of a move towards concordance,
  • identify the factors affecting concordance,
  • identify the barriers to concordance,
  • assess the efficacy of interventions designed to improve aspects of two-way communication about medicines,
  • identify gaps in the existing evidence base and areas for future research.

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