ABSTRACT: This study sought to identify patients' perceived drug knowledge, need for more information and drug information sources, and how they varied by patient characteristics, particularly education level.
A convenience sample of 366 adult patients was interviewed when leaving 20 Egyptian pharmacies after collecting a dispensed prescription. Patients were asked about their (1) perceived knowledge of their drugs' purpose, (2) use of package inserts (PIs) to learn about side effects, contraindications and drug interactions, (3) perceived need to know more about their drugs and (4) general sources of drug information beyond healthcare providers.
More than 30% of the patients reported that they did not know the purpose of at least one of their drugs and only read PIs selectively. Whereas 36% read about drug interactions, more reported reading about side effects (65%) and contraindications (60%) in PIs. Sixty-nine per cent of patients reported that they needed more information about their drugs. This was true for 86.8% of patients with limited education compared to 48.5% of university graduates. University graduates reported using PI topics, newspapers, internet, TV and family and friends as sources of drug information at significantly higher rates than did patients with lower levels of education.
There is a need for healthcare professionals to evaluate patient comprehension and needs for drug information, especially for patients with less schooling. Healthcare providers should also consider other information sources that a patient is using.
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 02/2011; 19(1):13-20.