Objective: To investigate patients' perceptions of the benefits of regular participation in pharmaceutical care services.
Design: Written survey of a convenience sample.
Setting: Pharmacist-run anticoagulation clinic in a Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Patients: 154 patients who had regularly scheduled appointments in the clinic.
Interventions: Patients were asked to complete a written survey. The survey was read to those who had trouble reading it.
Main outcome measures: Patients' perceptions about the benefit of services provided in the clinic and the relationship between those services and reduced risks of medication-related problems.
Results: All components of anticoagulant-related pharmaceutical care were rated as at least fairly beneficial. Monitoring of warfarin blood levels and information on the appropriate use of warfarin were rated highest. The perceived benefits of the pharmaceutical care components were associated with patients' perceptions of the extent to which pharmaceutical care reduced their risk of experiencing blood clots or warfarin-related problems. Patients also perceived that their risk of developing blood clots or bleeding problems would be higher if they did not regularly visit the anticoagulation clinic.
Conclusion: Patients' perceptions of the benefits of pharmaceutical care were associated with the perceived threat reduction capacity of the pharmacist's services. Pharmaceutical care providers may be able to enhance patient participation in their services by educating patients on the risks of medication-related problems and how frequent monitoring of key clinical indicators may help reduce those risks.