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Beliefs about inhaled corticosteroids: comparison of community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and patients with asthma.

Driesenaar, J.A., Smet, P.A.G.M. de, Hulten, R. van, Horne, R., Zwikker, H.E., Bemt, B.J.F. van den, Dulmen, S. van. Beliefs about inhaled corticosteroids: comparison of community pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and patients with asthma. Journal of Asthma: 2016, 53(10), 1051-1058
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Objectives
To compare pharmacists' and pharmacy technicians' perceptions of patients' beliefs regarding inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) with those of patients and to compare the ICS beliefs of pharmacists and technicians with those of patients with asthma.

Methods
1269 community pharmacies were approached to fill out an online questionnaire; 1952 patients were sent a questionnaire by post. Beliefs (i.e. necessity and concerns) regarding ICS were measured using (an adapted version of) the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ-specific). Pharmacists and technicians were instructed to fill out the BMQ for themselves, and to fill it out in the way they thought most of their patients would complete it.

Results
136 pharmacists, 90 pharmacy technicians and 161 patients with asthma completed the questionnaire. Pharmacists and technicians thought patients had more concerns about ICS than patients themselves reported (p<0.0001). They also thought that patients had stronger beliefs in their personal need for ICS than patients reported (p<0.01). Pharmacists reported lower levels of concerns than patients (p<0.05) and both providers attributed a higher level of necessity to ICS than patients did (p<0.0001).

Conclusion
Pharmacists and technicians overestimate the personal need for treatment as well as the concerns patients with asthma have regarding ICS. They also have, to some extent, stronger positive beliefs about ICS than patients. If pharmacists and technicians expect that patients share their positive views about ICS, they might be less likely to elicit and address patients' doubts and concerns about ICS, which might be relevant for effective ICS treatment and subsequent patient outcomes.(aut. ref.)