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Patients’, Pharmacy Staff Members’, and Pharmacy Researchers’ Perceptions of Central Elements in Prescription Encounters at the Pharmacy Counter

Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Denmark, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense C, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2019, 7(3), 84;
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 21 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacist Services)
PDF [216 KB, uploaded 4 July 2019]


Background: Studies suggest that the way pharmacy counselling takes place does not fully support patients in obtaining optimal medicine use. To understand the basis of current challenges in pharmacy counselling, we investigated which selected related cues, i.e., objects, sounds, or circumstances in prescription encounters, patients, and pharmacy staff notice, and how they interpret these cues. Pharmacy practice researchers’ cue orientation was also investigated to explore possible differences to those of staff and patients. Methods: Twelve focus group interviews representing 5 community pharmacies (staff and patients) and 2 universities (researchers) were conducted during 2017–2018 in Denmark. A total of 20 patients, 22 pharmacy staff, and 6 pharmacy researchers participated. A theoretical analysis based on cue orientation and social appraisal was conducted. Results: Pharmacy staff, patients and researchers noticed different selected related cues in prescription encounters. Staff particularly noticed ‘types of patients’. Patients were more divided and grouped into three overall categories: ‘types of staff’, medical content, and the situation around the encounter. Pharmacy researchers noticed multiple cues. Different emotions were integrated in the construction of the cues. Conclusion: Differences in the cue orientation between all three groups were identified. The identified types of cues and emotions can explain an underlying dissatisfaction with the encounters. Patients lack, in particular, more personal contact. Staff need to consider these aspects to provide relevant counselling. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmacy communication; cue orientation; focus group interviews; Denmark pharmacy communication; cue orientation; focus group interviews; Denmark
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Kaae, S.; Nørgaard, L.S.; Sporrong, S.K.; Almarsdottir, A.B.; Kofoed, M.; Daysh, R.F.; Jowkar, N. Patients’, Pharmacy Staff Members’, and Pharmacy Researchers’ Perceptions of Central Elements in Prescription Encounters at the Pharmacy Counter. Pharmacy 2019, 7, 84.

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