A qualitative evaluation of a health literacy intervention to improve medication adherence for underserved pharmacy patients

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2010 May;21(2):559-67. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0283.


Objective: To evaluate the implementation of a health literacy intervention to improve medication adherence among patients in an inner-city health system.

Methods: Interviews with pharmacists and focus groups with pharmacy patients were conducted one month and six months after beginning the intervention. Patients and pharmacists described their experiences with the intervention, consisting of an automated telephone call reminder system, an illustrated medication schedule, and pharmacist training in clear health communication.

Results: Despite initial technical problems, patients and pharmacists reported positive experiences. Pharmacists thought the intervention made counseling easier. Patients appreciated the design and portability of the illustrated medication schedule and found the reminder calls helpful as well.

Conclusion: Successful health literacy interventions require tools that are easy to comprehend, accessible, and personalized to the special needs and interests of the target population. Moreover, providers must be well-trained, and adequate resources must be provided to assure the fidelity of the intervention's implementation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Literacy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pharmacists / psychology
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Reminder Systems
  • Urban Health Services / organization & administration