The provision of advice by pharmacy staff in eastern Indonesian community pharmacies
Background: Indonesian community pharmacies hold a strategic position from which to promote the rational use of medicines by providing appropriate advice for patients requesting self-medication. To date, published studies related to the provision of advice in Indonesian community pharmacies are limited and have been conducted only in more developed western Indonesia. No studies have been undertaken in eastern Indonesia, which is less developed than and culturally different from the western region.
Objectives: This paper aims to: (1) describe the types and amount of advice provided by pharmacy staff for three scenarios in a patient simulation study and for two scenarios in pharmacy staff interviews; and (2) ascertain the frequency of appropriate advice given in response to the scenarios.
Methods: A patient simulation study was conducted at community pharmacies in an eastern Indonesian provincial capital. Four weeks after completing a patient simulation study, structured interviews with pharmacy staff were conducted. Two cough scenarios and one diarrhoea scenario were developed for the patient simulation study. Meanwhile, two scenarios (an ACE inhibitor-induced cough and a common cough and cold) were developed for pharmacy staff interviews. The types and amount of advice provided by pharmacy staff were recorded on paper and assessed for its appropriateness. The determination of appropriate advice was based on the literature and by consensus of two Indonesian experts.
Results: In patient simulation, the most common type of advice provided in all scenarios was product recommendations. In interviews, medical referrals and recommending cough and cold medicine were the most common types of advice provided for ACE inhibitor-induced cough and common cough and cold scenarios respectively. Appropriate advice was provided in less than 0.5% in the patient simulation study, but two-third of participants in the interviews responded to the scenarios appropriately.
Conclusions: Pharmacy staff did not provide appropriate advice in practice, although they may have adequate knowledge. A contributing factor was insufficient information gathered in patient encounters. Optimising information-gathering practice by pharmacy staff is needed.
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