Patient knowledge of medicines dispensed from Ghanaian community pharmacies
Background: One vital requirement for patient adherence to medicines is good patient knowledge of the medicines dispensed and this will invariably be linked to good labelling and counselling.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of labelling of medicines and determine patient knowledge of the administration of medicines dispensed from a community pharmacy in Ghana.
Methods: From 6th to 29th January, 2010, dispensed prescriptions of 280 clients were purposely sampled to evaluate the quality of labelling. These clients were also interviewed about their knowledge of the last medicine received immediately after dispensing. A scoring system was employed by awarding a point for each attribute written on the package and each attribute stated by the patient. The dispensing attributes noted were name, dosage, frequency, duration, quantity and route of administration.
Results: Of the 280 patients interviewed, 157 (56%) were males. Thirty one (11%) had no education and 99(35%) were secondary school graduates. Antimalarials comprised 17.9% and analgesics, 15.4% of medicines dispensed. The name, quantity, dosage, frequency, duration of therapy and route of administration were written on the label in 98%, 99%, 55%, 54%, 6% and 2% respectively of the dispensed medicines. The mean labelling score was 3.096 (SD=1.05) out of 6. The corresponding patient knowledge values were 63%, 80%, 80%, 75%, 57% and 86%. The mean knowledge score was 4.375 (SD; 1.38) out of 6. The chi square test p-value for the effect of demographic characteristics (sex, educational background, location) on patient knowledge of medicines dispensed were p=0.454; p=0.000, and p=0.138 respectively
Conclusion: Patient knowledge of the administration of dispensed medicines was rated good; and this largely corresponded with the quality of labelling, except that the duration of therapy and route of administration was not frequently written and so labelling was rated just above average.
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