Assessment of the attitude of community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians towards diarrhea: A simulated patient study in Turkey

  • M Sancar
  • E Tezcan
  • B Okuyan
  • FV Izzettin
Keywords: Pharmacist, Pharmacy technician, Counselling practice, Simulated patient


Purpose: To evaluate community pharmacists' and pharmacy technicians' counselling practices regarding diarrhea in Istanbul-Turkey using a simulated patient study.
Methods: This study was conducted in a total of one hundred community pharmacies located in two different districts of Istanbul, Turkey. Diarrhea cases involving patients of different age groups were designed and assigned to simulated patients who visited the pharmacies. After leaving a neighbourhood pharmacy, the  simulated patients answered a list of questions about the content of the consultation services offered by the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician, including whether or not demographic and medication history was taken, if pharmacological and non-pharmacological recommendations were made, and if any patient education was offered. The duration of the counselling services, the total number of questions asked by the community  pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and the cost of the suggested medications were also evaluated.
Results: The number of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who counselled simulated patients was 40 and 60, respectively. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians made little enquiry about the demographics and medical history of the patients. The most common medications recommended by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians were  probiotics, either alone or in combination with other medications. Pharmacists took more responsibility for simulated patients than pharmacy technicians did (p < 0.05). Pharmacists offered more recommendations to simulated patients when compared with pharmacy technicians (90 vs. 68.3 %, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: In view of their consultant role regarding patient medication, the attitude of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians towards minor illnesses such as diarrhea needs improvement through professional education programs.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996