Knowledge and Power Relations in Older Patients’ Communication About Medications Across Transitions of Care

Guncag Ozavci, Tracey Bucknall, Robyn Woodward-Kron, Carmel Hughes, Christine Jorm, Kathryn Joseph, Elizabeth Manias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Communicating about medications across transitions of care is a challenging process for older patients. In this article, we examined communication processes between older patients, family members, and health professionals about managing medications across transitions of care, focusing on older patients’ experiences. A focused ethnographic design was employed across two metropolitan hospitals. Data collection methods included interviews, observations, and focus groups. Following thematic analysis, data were analyzed using Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis and Medication Communication Model. Older patients’ medication knowledge and family members’ advocacy challenged unequal power relations between clinicians and patients and families. Doctors’ use of authoritative discourse impeded older patients’ participation in the medication communication. Older patients perceived that nurses’ involvement in medication communication was limited due to their task-related routines. To reduce the unequal power relations, health professionals should be more proactive in sharing information about medications with older patients across transitions of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2678-2691
Number of pages14
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • communication
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • focused ethnography
  • medication management
  • older patients
  • patient experiences
  • patient medication knowledge
  • patient perspectives
  • power relations
  • qualitative
  • transitions of care

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