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Assessment of counseling practice in medicine retail outlets in Mekelle City, Northern Ethiopia

Authors Belay YB, Kassa TT, Welie AG, Alemayehu MS, Dinkashe FT

Received 29 March 2017

Accepted for publication 13 July 2017

Published 7 August 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 137—146


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau

Video abstract presented by Yared Belete Belay.

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Yared Belete Belay,1 Terefe Teshome Kassa,1 Abraham Gebregziabiher Welie,1 Merafe Samuel Alemayehu,2 Fantaye Teka Dinkashe3

1Pharmacoepidemiology and Social Pharmacy, Mekelle University, Mekelle, 2Addis Ababa City Administration, Addis Ababa, 3Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Pharmaceutical Fund and Supply Agency, Central Office, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Introduction: Patient counseling can ideally be providing medication information orally or in written form to patients or their attendants, and it helps to form a concordant approach on encouraging patient involvement in the pharmaceutical care process and to explore patient’s knowledge and understanding. Lack of adequate knowledge on drugs and up-to-date drug information are the major factor that hinders counseling services. This study assessed counseling practice of pharmacy professionals in Mekelle City.
Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted. Professionals who volunteered to participate were involved. Self-administered questionnaires were used as data collecting tool to grasp professionals’ practice on patient counseling, and the data were analyzed by using SPSS version 23. One-way analysis of variance and post hoc statistical tests were done to check for association between sociodemographic and other variables of counseling practice. In the statistical analyses, p-value of 0.05 and 95% confidence interval were considered.
Results: The most frequent drug information given by the pharmacy professionals to clients were unit dose (65%), frequency of administration (79%), and duration of therapy (62%). Study participants claimed that lack of knowledge (37%), lack of updated drug information (49%), high patient load (62%), and absence of a private counseling room (51%) were the main factors that prohibit pharmacy professionals from counseling their patients. Those pharmacy professionals whose monthly income was <2000 Ethiopian Birr claimed lack of knowledge (p=0.007), limited access for updated drug information (p=0.009), and lack of experience (p=0.039) as factors for poor counseling practice. Results of the post hoc analysis showed significant difference among the participants with <5 and >10 years of experience in providing information on storage conditions and written materials with p-value of 0.025 and 0.016, respectively.
Conclusion: This study proves that the level of satisfactory counseling is still very low compared to the expected practice. Lack of knowledge, lack of updated drug information, high patient load, absence of private counseling room, and underestimating the importance of counseling were identified as some of the factors that impede counseling services.

counseling, medication, pharmacy professionals

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