A review of immediacy and implications for provider–patient relationships to support medication management

Rebecca J.Bartlett Ellis, Anna F. Carmon, Caitlin Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: This review is intended to 1) describe the construct of immediacy by analyzing how immediacy is used in social relational research and 2) discuss how immediacy behaviors can be incorporated into patient–provider interventions aimed at supporting patients’ medication management. Methods: A literature search was conducted using Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Google Scholar, OVID, PubMed, and Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) EBSCO with the keyword “immediacy”. The literature was reviewed and used to describe historical conceptualizations, identify attributes, examine boundaries, and identify antecedents and consequences of immediacy. Results: In total, 149 articles were reviewed, and six attributes of immediacy were identified. Immediacy is 1) reciprocal in nature and 2) reflected in the communicator’s attitude toward the receiver and the message, 3) conveys approachability, 4) respectfulness, 5) and connectedness between communicators, and 6) promotes receiver engagement. Immediacy is associated with affective learning, cognitive learning, greater recall, enhanced relationships, satisfaction, motivation, sharing, and perceptions of mutual value in social relationships. Conclusion: Immediacy should be further investigated as an intervention component of patient–provider relationships and shared decision making in medication management. Practice implications: In behavioral interventions involving relational interactions between interveners and participants, such as in medication management, the effects of communication behaviors and immediacy during intervention delivery should be investigated as an intervention component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
StatePublished - Jan 7 2016


  • Health behavior
  • Health communications
  • Medication management
  • Patient education
  • Patient–provider communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy

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