AimTo assess patients' knowledge about prescription medicines they are taking and their view on how much community pharmacist counseling contributed to their knowledge.
MethodsAn observational study was designed to obtain information about patients' knowledge, their view on pharmacist counseling, and physicians'/pharmacists' provision of information. This study used a specifically designed questionnaire, which served as an interview guide. 400 patients picking up a prescription medicine were structurally interviewed upon leaving one of the 20 randomly chosen Slovenian pharmacies. The interviews took place in November and December 2013.
ResultsPatients were familiar with general information about the medicines and their application (93%-100% of patients). Knowledge about considerations (16% of patients) and adverse effects (20% of patients) was limited. Factors associated with patient knowledge were physicians'/pharmacists' adequate provision of information (?=0.259), patient's age (?=- 0.149), patient's education (?=0.100), and prescription type (?=-0.104). Patients' responses were mostly consistent with the Summaries of Product Characteristics (72%-96% of responses). However, 42% of responses to the question about taking medicine with meals were incorrect. Pharmacists routinely informed the patients about medication purpose, dose, application rate, and timing of medication (in 72%, 89%, 89%, and 77% of cases, respectively). Other information was rarely offered. Patients with new prescriptions received significantly more counseling (pharmacist counseling score 5.9, 5.2, and 4.7 of maximum 10 for new, regular, and refill prescriptions, respectively, P=0.001) and obtained adequate labeling (69%, 26%, and 17% of patients for new, regular and refill prescriptions, respectively, P<0.001) than patients with regular or refill prescriptions.
ConclusionPatients were familiar with basic information about administration of their prescription medicines, but lacked knowledge about medication safety. This could be attributed to pharmacist counseling, which primarily focused on medicine use instructions.
SUBMITTER: Horvat N