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Identify practice gaps in medication education through surveys to patients and physicians

Authors Yi Z, Zhi X, Yang L, Sun S, Zhang Z, Sun Z, Zhai S

Received 27 July 2015

Accepted for publication 7 September 2015

Published 9 October 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1423—1430


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Doris Leung

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Zhan-Miao Yi,1 Xiao-Jie Zhi,2 Ling Yang,3 Shu-Sen Sun,4 Zhuo Zhang,2 Zhi-Ming Sun,2 Suo-Di Zhai1

1Department of Pharmacy, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Pharmaceutical Science, 3School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 4College of Pharmacy, Western New England University, Springfield, MA, USA

Background: Effective communication and education formats between health care providers and patients about medication use are associated with patients’ satisfaction, recall of information, and eventually their health status. Limited research exists on physician-delivered education interventions, as well as on whether the current content of medication education and delivery formats satisfies the needs of both patients and physicians. Our objective was to identify the practice gaps regarding medication education content and delivery.
Methods: Separate surveys were obtained from ambulatory care patients presenting to the outpatient pharmacy for medication pickups, and physicians working at the hospital clinics.
Results: A total of 108 patients completed the patient survey, and 116 hospital clinic physicians completed the physician survey. Female patients had a higher degree of concern regarding medication information compared with male patients (4.04±0.65 versus 3.58±0.66, P=0.001). Physicians were less likely to educate patients regarding their medications’ on drug–drug interactions (24.3%), drug–food interactions (24.3%), and what to do about their prescriptions if an adverse reaction is experienced (24.3%) during physician–patient encounters. Patients’ most desired education format was physician counseling (82.4%) and the second most desired education format was pharmacist counseling (50.9%). Medication device demonstration (7.0%) was the least used educational format delivered to patients by physicians, and patients would like to see an increased education delivery format through medication device demonstration (Method desired [MD] – Method received [MR] =12.0%). Patients would like to see expanded roles of patient focused handout (MD-MR=22.2%), telephone consultation (21.2%), pharmacist counseling (12.9%), the use of medication database embedded within the hospital information system (12.2%) and device demonstration (12.0%).
Conclusion: This study illustrates that there are practice gaps in current medication education both in terms of content and delivery format. The study provided valuable information in designing and implementing future education activities that are drivers of good medication use and adherence.

Keywords: medication education, medication adherence, degree of concern, education content, education format

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