Ephrem Ayalew, Yimer Seid, Asrat Agalu
Counseling patients on their medication is one means to improve patient compliance, and thus, the treatment outcomes. The way drugs are dispensed and the type of information delivered during dispensing determines the way drugs are utilized by patients and affect the expected outcome. Clear and complete instructions on how to take or use drugs, risks and benefits of using medicines, adverse effects, when and how to use drugs are at least the vital drug information that should be delivered to patients during prescribing and dispensing. To assess knowledge, attitude and practice of pharmacy professionals towards patient medication counseling in Mekele town drug retail outlets, April-May 2012. A cross sectional study was conducted from April-May 2012. 49 pharmacy professionals were included in the study. Data was collected using self-administered semi-structured. Finally, data were entered into SPSS windows version 16.0 and descriptive statistics were generated to meet the study objective. From 49 dispensers, 46.94% believed that patient counseling is the responsibility pharmacy professionals while 44.90% believed it as a shared responsibility of prescribers and dispensers. From ten patient counseling activities assessed, only 18.37% of dispensers have practiced more than half of the activities and spend more time counseling on dose, frequency and route of administration. High patient load, lack of time, lack of knowledge, patient factors and no legalization were believed to be perceived barriers to patient medication counseling during dispensing. It was noted that medication counseling is the cornerstone of pharmacy practice and is the responsibility of pharmacy professionals though they are not accessible to up-to-date drug information resources. Being new concept training should be organized to the professionals involved in dispensing activities.
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