Bissell, Paul (2003) Maintain an attitude of respect. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 271 (7272). p. 578. ISSN 0031-6873

I was heartened to read Irene Gummerson’s letter (PJ, 18 October, p543) regarding my article (PDF 65K) in the PJ devoted to concordance (11 October, p498). Although I am sure that Mrs D’s treatment could be improved (Mrs D was the individual I was writing about), one of my points was that it is the delineation of patients into “successes” and “failures” in the first place that is the problem. I think that health professionals who are interested in concordance need to get away from making judgements about patients as “successes” or “failures” on the basis of their ability to comply. The important point — if establishing partnerships with patients is to have any real meaning — is to maintain an attitude of respect for the patient, even if he or she does not do as health professionals suggest.

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