Background and objective: Patients with chronic disease have to rely on safe and efficacious drug treatment. They therefore need individual information on their medicaton, in which counselling within the setting of general practice plays a pivotal role. However, information that seems to be relevant from the doctor's point of view is not necessarily consistent with the information patients consider to be necessary. The question was addressed in this study on to what extent patients are satisfied with the information they have received on their medication in general practice?
Methods: A standardized questionnaire consisting of the SIMS-D (German version of the Satisfaction with Information about Medicines Scale) and MARS-D (German version of the Medication Adherence Report Scale) was sent to 834 chronically ill patients between March 2007 and April 2008.
Results: Patients felt quite satisfied with the information they received on "action and usage" of medication (mean 6.95; range 0 - 9). They were not quite so satisfied with the information they received on "potential problems of medication". Self-reported adherence showed a high mean of 23.6 (range 5 - 25). Less than half of the doctors (43.6 %) inquired "always" or "often" whether patients were taking any other drugs than those prescribed.
Conclusion: Patients wish to have more information on potential drug-related problems. More attention needs to be given to a structured review of drugs prescribed in general practice.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart * New York.