Consumer experiences on medication information in pharmacies and dispensing general practices.

Vervloet, M., Linschoten, P. van, Dijk, L. van. Consumer experiences on medication information in pharmacies and dispensing general practices. European Journal of Public Health: 2007, 17(suppl. 2), p. 94. Abstract. EUPHA Conference "The Future of Public Health in the Unified Europe", 11-13 October 2007, Helsinki, Finland.
Background: In the Netherlands there is a growing interest in standardized information on consumer experiences within the health care sector. Recently, a series of questionnaires have been developed to measure patient experiences: the Consumer-Quality index (CQ-index). In 2006, a CQ-index on pharmaceutical care was developed with strong emphasis on medication information. In the Netherlands, 10% of all patients collect their drugs in the general practice where they are listed; all other patients collect medication in the pharmacy. This paper’s objective is to study differences on patient experiences on medication information between patients who collect medication at the pharmacy and patients who collect drugs in general practice. Methods: The CQ-index Pharmaceutical Care is a written questionnaire that was developed based upon focus group discussions and existing questionnaires. The questionnaire was send to 2609 patients of four large health insurance companies in the Netherlands. The sample was stratified according to number of visits to the pharmacy/GP and type of provider (pharmacist versus dispensing GP). Factor and reliability analyses were used for scale construction. Sum scores were calculated for the different factors. Multivariate regression analysis was used to estimate the difference between patients from pharmacists and dispensing GPs (controlled for sociodemographics) on the factors on medication information. Results: The net response to the questionnaire was 54% (n = 1295). The factor analyses showed five factors with sufficient reliability (a’s: 0.72–0.91). Three factors reflected medication information: advice at first dispense, advice at second dispense and proactive attitude of professional. Patients from dispensing general practices were more often informed at second dispense and were more proactively approached compared to patients from a pharmacist. This means for example that the dispensing GP asked more on experience on the use of medication and stressed the importance of the adherence more often. No differences were found for advice at first dispense. Conclusions: Patients are more informed about their medication in (dispensing) general practices compared to pharmacies. Patients who collect their drugs at the pharmacy may have gotten information from their GP. However, when it comes to repeat medication these patients do not always consult their GP and may need information in the pharmacy. Moreover, pharmacists want to increase their role in pharmaceutical patient care. There is still work to do to make patients experience this role. (aut. ref.)