Assessment of Pharmacist-Patient communication in some health care facilities in Southern Nigeria

  • PO Erah Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
  • EE Bafor Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Keywords: Consultation, counseling, dispensing, question-asking, pharmacist-patient communication

Abstract

Effective communication between the pharmacist and the patient is an important aspect of pharmacotherapy as it ensures patient's compliance to drug therapy. Therefore, a study of the communication between the pharmacist and patient was carried out to determine the level of communication between the pharmacist and the patient, and to examine the factors that can effectively predict question asking behaviour by the patient and the provision of medication information by the pharmacist to the patient. Pharmacy departments in three government hospitals in Edo and Delta States were used for the study. In each of the hospitals, both the pharmacists (n=59) and the patients (96 males and 104 females) were observed as the patients were being attended to by the pharmacists within the drug dispensing area. This involved 265 new prescriptions sheets and 44 refill prescriptions sheets. Information on the prescriptions was obtained from the patients as they came into the pharmacy dispensing areas. The likelihood that specific types of information were provided under different conditions of prescription status, patient age, patient gender and patient question asking were investigated. Factors associated with administrative elements, continuity of therapy, contraindications, directions for use, interactions, monitoring, name of medication, purpose of medication, side effects, and solicitation of feedback were determined by an observation of pharmacist-patient encounters and recording whether or not each type of information was provided to patients. The effects of independent variables (socio-demographic characteristics, prescription status, patient age, patient gender and patient question asking) on the provision of information to patients were investigated using logistic regression analysis. Results indicate that the level of communication between the pharmacists and their patients was generally very poor. The pharmacists provided information to the patients mainly in connection with the prices of their medications (98.5%) and the directions for their use (98.5%). They hardly provided information to the patients in areas such as continuity of therapy, contraindications, interactions, monitoring, solicitation of feedback and the name, source, nature, purpose and side effects of their drugs. Patient's question asking was also generally poor and most patients tend to ask questions in relation to the price of their medications. The socio-demographic characteristics, prescription status and patient question asking were major predictors for the provision of information to patients. Pharmacists in the hospitals studied do not provide adequate drug information to their patients. This necessitates the re-orientation of pharmacists if they are to be able to provide effective pharmaceutical care services to patients.
Key words: Consultation; counseling; dispensing; question-asking; pharmacist-patient communication
Nig. J. Pharm. Res. 3(1) 2004: 23-34
Published
2005-09-07
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0189-8434