BACKGROUND: It is important that pharmacists counsel patients about their prescribed medicines, as it leads to improved therapeutic outcome, increases compliance, and decreases confusion and insecurity. Studies have shown that the number of patients getting any pharmaceutical counseling varies greatly. Swedish pharmacists claim that the focus of the dialog with the patient has switched from pharmaceutical counseling to economy and regulations. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the content and time disposition of the patient-pharmacist communication during dispensing of prescribed medicines at Swedish community pharmacies. METHOD: Non-participant observations and audio recordings were used as data-collecting methods. The content of the dialog was categorized into 2 deductively decided main categories-medicinal and non-medicinal issues-and 12 inductively decided subcategories. RESULTS: A total of 282 pharmacy encounters were observed and recorded, of which 259 fully coincided with the inclusion criteria. After categorizing the content of each encounter the results showed that there was little or no dialog regarding medicinal issues during the pharmacy encounter in Swedish community pharmacies. Forty percent of the dialog concerns non-medical issues and almost half of the encounter was silent. CONCLUSION: Medicines are an essential treatment method in healthcare, and pharmaceutical expertise is available to patients who enter a community pharmacy. The results of this study show that today's pharmacy encounter is not focused on improving the use of medication, possibly resulting in the patient not gaining the most benefit from his or her treatment.
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 2014, Vol 10, Issue 1, p. 149-155