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Patients’ general satisfaction with telephone counseling by pharmacists and effects on satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines: results from a cluster randomized trial.

Kooy, M.J., Geffen, E.C.G. van, Heerdink, E.R., Dijk, L. van, Bouvy, M.L. Patients’ general satisfaction with telephone counseling by pharmacists and effects on satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines: results from a cluster randomized trial. Patient Education and Counseling: 2015, 98(6), 797-804
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Objective
Assess effects of pharmacists’ counseling by telephone on patients’ satisfaction with counseling, satisfaction with information and beliefs about medicines for newly prescribed medicines.

Methods
A cluster randomized trial in Dutch community pharmacies. Patients ≥18 years were included when starting with antidepressants, bisphosphonates, RAS-inhibitors or statins. The intervention comprised counseling by telephone to address barriers to adherent behavior. It was supported by an interview protocol. Controls received usual care. Outcomes were effects on beliefs about medication, satisfaction with information and counseling. Data was collected with a questionnaire.

Results
Responses of 211 patients in nine pharmacies were analyzed. More intervention arm patients were satisfied with counseling (adj. OR 2.2 (95% CI 1.3, 3.6)). Patients with counseling were significantly more satisfied with information on 4 items, had less concerns and less frequently had a ‘skeptical’ attitude towards medication (adj. OR 0.5 (0.3–0.9)). Effects on most outcomes were more pronounced in men than in women.

Conclusions
Telephone counseling by pharmacists improved satisfaction with counseling and satisfaction with information on some items. It had a small effect on beliefs about medicines.

Practice implications
Pharmacists can use counseling by telephone, but more research is needed to find out which patients benefit most. (aut. ref.)