Purpose: The pharmaceutical care framework requires an active client-pharmacist partnership, particularly with respect to consultation about medications. With low client expectations for pharmacist consultation documented by several studies, this research sought to identify: 1) what information clients want from pharmacists, 2) what barriers prevent clients from asking pharmacists their questions, and 3) whether an inexpensive intervention could increase client short-term knowledge of pharmacist roles related to patient consultation and monitoring prescription appropriateness. Role theory provides a framework for this study.
Methods: Nineteen community pharmacies and 355 pharmacy clients participated in the study. Each client completed a survey on their needs for information and knowledge of pharmacist roles, with clients in the experimental arm receiving a short brochure on pharmacist roles while a control group did not.
Results: Sixty percent wanted information about side effects; 51% wanted directions for how to take the medication correctly. Most frequently listed barriers to asking pharmacists questions were client embarrassment and ignorance that it was appropriate to seek information from pharmacists. Significantly more experimental group clients than control group clients correctly answered survey questions about pharmacist roles and training. Only 52% of the control group believed the pharmacist always checks for possible drug interactions. Only 55% believed pharmacists were required to provide appropriate patient consultation for prescriptions under state law.
Conclusions: Brief exposure to a short pamphlet about pharmacists' activities increased knowledge of pharmacist roles and training, suggesting that inexpensive interventions can impact on client short term knowledge of pharmacist roles.