Patient-reported communications with pharmacy staff at community pharmacies: the Alabama NSAID Patient Safety Study, 2005-2007
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Medical Subject Headings
African Americans; Alabama; *Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; effects; Arthritis; *Communication; Cross-Sectional Studies; Drug Toxicity; European Continental Ancestry Group; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Nonprescription Drugs; Pain; *Pharmacies; *Pharmacists; Prescription Drugs; *Professional-Patient Relations; Risk Assessment
Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research
OBJECTIVES: To examine the prevalence of patient-pharmacy staff communication about medications for pain and arthritis and to assess disparities in communication by demographic, socioeconomic, and health indicators.
DESIGN: Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Alabama between 2005 and 2007.
PATIENTS: 687 Patients participating in the Alabama NSAID Patient Safety Study (age >or=50 years and currently taking a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug [NSAID]).
INTERVENTION: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Communication with pharmacy staff about prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs was examined before and after adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic, and health indicators.
RESULTS: For the entire cohort (n = 687), mean (+/-SD) age was 68.3 +/- 10.0 years, 72.8% were women, 36.4% were black, and 31.2% discussed use of prescription pain/arthritis medications with pharmacy staff. Discussing use of prescription pain/arthritis medications with pharmacy staff differed by race/gender (P < 0.001): white men (40.3%), white women (34.6%), black men (30.2%), and black women (19.8%). Even after multivariable adjustment, black women had the lowest odds of discussing their medications with pharmacy staff (odds ratio 0.40 [95% CI 0.24-0.56]) compared with white men. For the 63.0% of participants with recently overlapping prescription and OTC NSAID use, communication with pharmacy staff about OTC NSAIDs use was only 13.7% and did not vary significantly by race/gender group.
CONCLUSION: Given the complex risks and benefits of chronic NSAID use, pharmacists, pharmacy staff, and patients all are missing an important opportunity to avoid unsafe prescribing and decrease medication adverse events.
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Citation: J Am Pharm Assoc. 2009 Sep-Oct;49(5):e110-7. Link to article on publisher's site