Development of a taxonomy of interventions to organise the evidence on consumers' medicines use

Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Nov;85(2):e101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2010.09.024. Epub 2010 Oct 30.


Objective: Safe, effective (quality) medicines use remains problematic worldwide, yet consumers' medicines use research is not well organised. This creates difficulties for decision makers in identifying evidence or research gaps and in understanding how or why interventions work. Developing a conceptual framework for this evidence helps to organise the evidence for application and raise awareness of the range of possible interventions.

Methods: To scope the aims of interventions to improve consumers' medicines use we searched for and iteratively analysed policy documents, systematic reviews, and an existing consumer-oriented communication intervention taxonomy.

Results: We identified eight recurrent themes associated with the purpose of the interventions: to inform and educate; to support behaviour change; to teach skills; to facilitate communication and/or decision making; to support; to minimise risk and harms; to involve consumers at the system level; and to improve health care quality.

Conclusion: The taxonomy accommodates the complexity and diversity of interventions in this field, by focussing on the purposes of interventions, rather than the intervention type.

Practice implications: Currently used to organise the evidence on consumers' medicines use, the taxonomy provides a conceptual and practical map of the evidence which will aid decision making and future research investment in the area.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Classification*
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Drug Therapy / standards*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Harm Reduction
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Education as Topic