The medication experience

The MMP Blog

Understanding the meaning of medication to patients – the medication experience – is fundamental to the achievement of good outcomes. Although not well researched and explained, an excellent summary was published by Sarah Shoemaker, now more than 5 years ago.


Sarah split the medication experience into four sections:

  • A meaningful encounter- where a medicine is offered in the context of a condition

  • Bodily effects – where the patient experiences the effects of the medication within their body

  • Unremitting nature – where the patient questions the need for the medicine, particularly if it is to be taken long term

  • Exerting control – where a patient exerts control on the medicine, having gained ‘expertise’ of the medicine in their own body.


Using this model to understand patient’s experiences and to understand a patient’s medication experience and medication-taking behaviours is important in structuring interventions to support appropriate compliance through meeting medication-related…

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