Private pharmacies in Hanoi, Vietnam: a randomized trial of a 2-year multi-component intervention on knowledge and stated practice regarding ARI, STD and antibiotic/steroid requests

Trop Med Int Health. 2002 Sep;7(9):803-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3156.2002.00934.x.


Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of a multi-component intervention on knowledge and reported practice amongst staff working in private pharmacies in Hanoi regarding four conditions: urethral discharge [sexually transmitted diseases (STD)], acute respiratory infection (ARI), and non-prescription requests for antibiotics and steroids.

Method: Randomized controlled trial with staff working in 22 matched pair intervention and control private pharmacies who were administered a semistructured questionnaire on the four conditions before and 4 months after the interventions. The interventions focused on the four conditions and were in sequence (i) regulations enforcement; (ii) face-to-face education and (iii) peer influence. Outcome measures were knowledge and reported change in practice for correct management of tracer conditions.

Results: The intervention/control-pairs (22 after drop-outs) were analysed pre- and post-intervention using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. STD: More drug sellers stated they would ask about the health of the partner (P = 0.03) and more said they would advise condom use (P = 0.01) and partner notification (P = 0.04). ARI: More drug sellers stated they would ask questions regarding fever (P = 0.01), fewer would give antibiotics (P = 0.02) and more would give traditional medicines (P = 0.03). Antibiotics request: Fewer said they would sell a few capsules of cefalexin without a prescription (P = 0.02). Steroid requests: No statistical difference was seen in the numbers who said they would sell steroids without a prescription as numbers declined in both intervention and control groups (P = 0.12).

Conclusion: The three interventions in series over 17 months were effective in changing the knowledge and reported practice of drug sellers in Hanoi.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / supply & distribution
  • Community Pharmacy Services / standards*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nonprescription Drugs / administration & dosage
  • Nonprescription Drugs / supply & distribution
  • Professional Competence*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Steroids / administration & dosage
  • Steroids / supply & distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vietnam


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Steroids