A pilot workshop to help refugees navigate the U.S. pharmacy system

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2016 Jul-Aug;56(4):461-466.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2016.02.016. Epub 2016 Apr 15.


Objectives: To assess refugees' understanding of the U.S. pharmacy system; to determine whether an educational workshop improved understanding.

Setting: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants-affiliated institute, Manchester, NH.

Practice innovation: Student pharmacist-led workshops for refugees, including slide presentation, interactive activities, and demonstration.

Main outcome measures: Comparison of pre- and post-workshop responses to knowledge-based questions about the U.S. pharmacy system; ability to interpret a medication label pictogram; comfort level and willingness to speak to a pharmacist.

Results: Significant post-workshop increases were seen in awareness that identification is needed when filling a prescription, that prescription medication labels have refill information, and that a translator can be requested in U.S. pharmacies. Participants who had not used a U.S. pharmacy before the workshop showed significant improvement after the workshop in mean percentage of correct responses to knowledge-based questions; those who had previously used a U.S. pharmacy did not. Participants who were in the U.S. for less than 3 months showed significant improvement in mean correct responses to knowledge-based questions after the workshop; those who were in the U.S. for 3 months or more did not. Participants' comfort level and willingness to speak to a pharmacist were not significantly increased after the workshop.

Conclusion: Participants who were in the U.S. for the least time and those who had never used a U.S. pharmacy showed significant increases in understanding specific aspects of the U.S. pharmacy system after an educational workshop. Participants' comfort level and willingness to speak with a pharmacist did not change post-workshop.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Drug Labeling
  • Female
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Navigation / organization & administration*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Refugees
  • Students, Pharmacy*
  • Translating
  • United States