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Impact of 'Ask Me 3' Program on Patient Queries Assessed

Program may not increase questions in practices with a higher baseline level of patient queries

TUESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- The Ask Me 3 (AM3) health communication program encourages patients to ask specific questions during physician visits, but in a patient population that already asks a high rate of questions during primary care visits and demonstrates good treatment adherence, this intervention may not increase patients asking more and/or specific questions or improve patient adherence to treatment recommendations, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

James M. Galliher, Ph.D., of the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network in Leawood, Kan., and colleagues studied 834 patients from 20 practices who were randomly assigned to receive the AM3 intervention or no intervention. Patient visits were audio recorded and patients were interviewed one to three weeks after the visit.

The researchers found that the rate of asking questions was the same in both groups (92 percent), and that there were no group differences in rates of either filling or taking prescriptions. Compared to intervention patients, however, they found control patients were more likely to report that their physician had recommended a lifestyle change (68 versus 59 percent).

"Further study is warranted in practices with lower baseline rates of question-asking, prescription filling, and adherence to lifestyle recommendations," the authors write. "A longer intervention in which patients are exposed to the approach over several visits also is needed."

This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer.

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