"Compliance" to "concordance": a critical view

J Med Humanit. 2007 Jun;28(2):81-96. doi: 10.1007/s10912-007-9030-4.


Advocates of "concordance" describe it as a new model of shared decision-making between physicians and patients based on a partnership of equals. "Concordance" is meant to make obsolete the notion of "compliance," in which patients are seen as, ideally, following doctors' orders. This essay offers a critical view of concordance, arguing that the literature itself on concordance, including materials at the web site of Medicines Partnership, the implementation arm in Great Britain of the concordance model, is full of contradiction; concordance, in fact, harbors an ideology of compliance. The essay suggests that an improvement in patient medication use will more likely come from a frank consideration of the relation of compliance issues and commercial ones, and that a key question across domains is, "how are patients/health agents/consumers persuaded to acquire certain drugs and take them as directed?"

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advertising
  • Drug Industry
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Participation*
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • United Kingdom