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Pharmacy 2013, 1(2), 256-268; doi:10.3390/pharmacy1020256
Article

Exploring the Process of Conveying Information about Side Effects: A Qualitative Study among Pharmacists

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Received: 12 September 2013 / Revised: 1 November 2013 / Accepted: 19 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
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Abstract

This study explored how a sample of Australian pharmacists would convey information about the side effects of a medicine, if they were to counsel a patient. A qualitative method was selected and written responses to a case-based scenario were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. The grounded theory approach elicited a fluid and dynamic model for side effect counselling. The study identified strategies for counselling, such as encouraging adherence through emphasising the benefits of the medication, referral to the prescriber, and providing empathy and reassurance to ease anxiety and address concerns. Pharmacists acknowledged the potential for risk, although only a minority used numerical descriptors. The final themes or outcomes were that pharmacists aim to allay fears, minimise harm and promote medication use when counselling about side effects. Professional empathy, the acknowledgment of patient concerns, and the importance of providing tailored information to promote medication adherence, emerged as features of the quality use of medicines. This study contributes to existing literature by identifying the role of allaying patients’ fears when conveying side effect information. It also describes a process to convey tailored information. Implications for practice include the importance of effective use of communication strategies to encourage adherence, as the appropriate use of medication can lead to positive health outcomes.
Keywords: patient counselling; side effect counselling; risk; side effects; medication; pharmacist; information; communication; model patient counselling; side effect counselling; risk; side effects; medication; pharmacist; information; communication; model
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kairuz, T.; Krehula, D.; Huynh, T.; Bellamy, K. Exploring the Process of Conveying Information about Side Effects: A Qualitative Study among Pharmacists. Pharmacy 2013, 1, 256-268.

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