Information on antibiotics in an Indonesian hospital outpatient setting: What is provided by pharmacy staff and recalled by patients?

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Consumer Health Information, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Professional Practice, Pharmacy Service, Hospital, Outpatient Clinics, Hospital, Cross-Sectional Studies, Indonesia


Background: The provision of information by pharmacy staff is a key factor to ensure patients’ understanding and quality use of medications, including antibiotics. However, little is known regarding the transmission of information between pharmacy staff and patients in Indonesia.

Objective: This study aimed to identify information on antibiotics provided by pharmacy staff and recalled by patients in an Indonesian outpatient setting.

Methods: The study was conducted in a hospital outpatient clinic in Malang, Indonesia, in 2019. A checklist was used to obtain the data on information provided by pharmacy staff, while interviews were conducted to determine information recalled by patients (only presenting patients were included); a total of 15 information items – i.e. 14 essential and one secondary – were observed. Descriptive analysis was used to summarise data on the checklists (‘given’ versus ‘not given’) as well as responses from the interviews (‘recalled’ versus ‘missed’).

Results: Eleven pharmacy staff (two pharmacists and nine pharmacy technicians) were involved in providing information for patients obtaining oral antibiotics during the study period. Of 14 essential information items, only about half was given by pharmacy staff, with pharmacists significantly providing on average more information items than pharmacy technicians (7.96 versus 7.67 respectively; p<0.001). The most frequently information items provided (>90%) included “antibiotic identification”, “indication”, administration directions (i.e. “dosage”, “frequency”, “hour of administration”, “administration before/after meal”, “route of administration”), and “duration of use”. A total of 230 patients consented to the study, giving 79.9% response rate. The average number of information items recalled by patients was 7.09 (SD 1.45). Almost all patients could recall information on administration directions [i.e. “route of administration” (97.0%), “frequency” (95.2%), “dosage” (92.6%), “hour of administration” (85.7%), “administration before/after meal” (89.1%)] and “duration of use” (90.9%). Fewer patients were able to recall “antibiotic identification” (76.5%) and “indication” (77.0%).

Conclusions: Pharmacy staff provided antibiotic information in a limited fashion, while patients showed adequate ability to recall the information given to them. Further study is needed to better understand the effective process of information transmission between pharmacy staff and patients, especially if more information was provided, to better optimise the use of antibiotics in outpatient settings in Indonesia.

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