Effects of physician communication style on client medication beliefs and adherence with antidepressant treatment

Patient Educ Couns. 2000 May;40(2):173-85. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(99)00083-x.


The goals of this study were to examine how physician communication style impacts client beliefs and medication taking behavior during treatment for depression. The study uses a communication framework and prospective design to examine physician communication and client beliefs as treatment is initiated and again 2 months later. Two telephone interviews were conducted with 100 clients enrolled from 23 community pharmacies. Clients report that physician communication styles vary. In follow-up, 25% of the clients were not satisfied with their medication and 82% reported missing doses or stopping treatment earlier than recommended. Path analysis showed that physician initial communication style positively influences client knowledge and initial beliefs about the medication. Clients with more positive beliefs about the treatment are more likely to see the physician in follow-up and are more satisfied with treatment after attempting medication use. Physician follow-up communication style and client satisfaction are both predictive of better medication adherence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians / psychology*


  • Antidepressive Agents