Objective: To explore the satisfaction of cardiac in-patients regarding the information they received about their medicines, and the role perceptions and practices of practitioners whose responsibility it was to provide such information.
Method: A questionnaire was constructed by selecting medicine information topics from a validated instrument, the Satisfaction with Information about Medicines Scale. Patients and practitioners were recruited from cardiac wards at a London teaching hospital providing tertiary care.
Results: Questionnaires were returned by 140 patients and 52 doctors, 53 nurses and 4 pharmacists. Patients were satisfied with information about the action and usage of medicines but were significantly less satisfied with information about potential problems with their medicines. In parallel, practitioners provided more information about the action and usage of medicines than its potential problems.
Conclusions: Information gaps existed largely around potential problems with medicines which reflected the general lack of focus on these issues by the healthcare professionals studied. There was no consensus between doctors, nurses and pharmacists on perceptions of role responsibility of information provision.
Practice implications: Patients may become non-adherent to their medicines if insufficient information is provided. Role responsibilities should be co-ordinated when information about medicines is provided by a range of practitioners.
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