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Digital communication to assess medication experiences: needs and wishes of patients and pharmacists.

Maric, D., Dijk, L. van, Schayk, N. van, Rijcken, C., Vervloet, M. Digital communication to assess medication experiences: needs and wishes of patients and pharmacists. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy: 2022, 44(1), p. 293. Abstracts of the 25th Annual Meeting of ESPACOMP, the International Society for Medication Adherence, 08–19 November 2021.
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Early detection of problems patients experience in their medication use can improve medication adherence. The TRIAGE question set aims at detecting problems at the counter.

TRIAGE could potentially be valuable to digitally guide patients between pharmacy visits, e.g. by integrating the questions into a digital pharmacist app. Our aim was to assess needs and wishes of patients and pharmacists concerning digital communication.

Semi-structured interviews were held with eight pharmacists. Two digital focus groups with 12 patients were organized. All audiotapes were transcribed. Data were analysed with open, axial and selective coding using Atlas.ti. Results: Pharmacists and patients were positive about digital communication. Both valued the possibility of monitoring medication use by assessing experiences in between pharmacy visits through an app and considered the TRIAGE-questions to be suitable. Patients and pharmacists suggested some rephrasing of questions as well as adding a question on how the medication was used. Patients expect feedback preferably in the next pharmacy visit. Pharmacists expect that the responses entered in the app will facilitate the conversation in the pharmacy, especially for patients with negative experiences, and expect this to improve adherence.

Selection bias might have occurred. The viewpoint of patients with limited (digital) literacy skills remains unknown.

Patients and pharmacists are positive about digital communication between pharmacy visits and view integration of TRIAGE-questions in a digital app, with some adjustments, as an added value for supporting patients’ medication use.