Management for improving patients’ knowledge and understanding about drug allergy
Background: Drug allergy a serious adverse drug reaction commonly concerned in healthcare practice. Inadequate documentation and communication between health providers, and limited health literacy and knowledge in patients could contribute to the re-occurrence of allergic reactions.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives aiming to improve patients’ knowledge, understanding and behavior in preventing recurrent drug allergy.
Methods: A before-and-after study was conducted at an 800-bed university teaching hospital, involving patients with a history of drug allergy. Questionnaires, completed at baseline and one month after receiving information were used to compare knowledge and understanding of drug allergy and behaviors in relation to drug allergy cards. Patients in Group 1 received a brochure only, but patients in Group 2 also received a pharmacist counseling intervention in addition to the brochure. Outcomes were evaluated within intervention group and between intervention groups.
Results: The study included 299 (30.4%) and 100 patients (100.0%) in Groups 1 and 2 respectively who completed the baseline questionnaire, of whom 179 (59.8%) and 96 (96.0%) completed the follow-up questionnaire. At baseline, higher educational levels and possession of a drug allergy card were significantly associated with better knowledge about drug allergy. After intervention, Group 2 had significantly greater increases in mean overall knowledge scores than Group 1 (p<0.01) and also greater increases in the proportions self-reporting carrying and presenting drug allergy cards (p<0.05 and p<0.01).
Conclusions: Pharmacist counseling plus brochure may be more effective than brochure alone in promoting patients’ knowledge of drug allergy and drug allergy card importance.
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