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November 4, 1983

Achieving Patient Compliance: The Psychology of the Medical Practitioner's Role

Author Affiliations

University of Washington Seattle


by M. Robin DiMatteo and D. Dante DiNicola (Pergamon General Psychology Series, Arnold P. Goldstein and Leonard Krasner, eds), 335 pp, $35, paper $12.95, Elmsford, NY, Pergamon Press Ltd, 1982.

JAMA. 1983;250(17):2376. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340170098042

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This is a surprisingly good book, the scope of which is unfortunately masked by its somewhat misleading title. It is, in fact, quite comprehensive.

In the preface the authors set the tone for the more interesting scope by noting that they met when the cages of DiNicola's experimental pigs were leaking into DiMatteo's office. The meeting led to a collaboration, and eventually to marriage. The medical literature seems to be dry and scientific enough that this personal note was quite welcome.

After reading the book, it was apparent that compliance, although important, was not the main theme addressed by the authors, but that their book was a rather comprehensive and insightful overview of many critical issues in doctor-patient communication. Selected aspects of the doctor-patient relationship (such as interviewing, cultural perspective, and the different health belief models) are, of course, covered in other texts. However, I have not seen a work