Every week, we will provide a brief summary and a link to the published abstract of newly published papers selected from the worldwide literature as being of particular interest to the SelfCare community.
INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PARENTS/CARERS OF PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN AND PHARMACY STAFF WHEN BUYING NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES.
By: HF Boardman, SB Symonds, NJ Gray, et al.
Summary: Responsibility for choice and administration of children’s medicines falls to the parent/carer. Pharmacy advice should support safe and effective use of medicines for children. Using survey and interview data this study explores the interactions between pharmacy staff and purchasers of children’s medicines, in terms of questioning and advice giving. Interactions in the pharmacy involving the purchase of medicines for young children are varied with regard to questioning and advice given. The study found that key questions are not always asked before a medicine is sold, and advice about using the medicine was given in just over one-third of encounters. Parents/carers also identified a range of additional information they would like to have received with their medicine: there was, however, no clear pattern to the type of information they would like. Both pharmacists and their assistants should adopt a flexible questioning approach based on parents/carers advice and information needs that respects expertise, but does not assume it.
HOW DO PHARMACISTS RESPOND TO COMPLAINTS OF ACUTE INSOMNIA? A SIMULATED PATIENT STUDY.
By: C Kippist, K Wong, D Bartlett et al.
Summary: Many people with insomnia choose to self medicate and present at community pharmacies, particularly in cases of acute insomnia. This study in 100 Australian pharmacies investigated how community pharmacists respond to complaints of acute insomnia from people who seek self treatment, and determine the factors affecting this response. Of the 100 pharmacies, upon simulated patient presentation, 96% supplied a product, the remaining 4% referred to a physician. Non-pharmacological advice was provided in 42%. Pharmacists scored highly on advice provided with supply of a medication, but lower on skills in eliciting information prior to supply and sleep related counselling. The results of this study suggest that many pharmacists are responding appropriately to complaints of sleeplessness in terms of eliciting insomnia type and counseling about medicines use. However more education for pharmacists would help to further promote good sleep health, and address behaviors including reliance on medicines taking that can progressively worsen insomnia.
RISKS, BENEFITS, AND ISSUES IN CREATING A BEHIND-THE-COUNTER CATEGORY OF MEDICATIONS.
By: LD Ried, SA Huston, SN Kucukarslan et al.
Summary: This paper examined the issues surrounding the development and implementation of a behind-the-counter (BTC) category of medications. Based on evidence attained from the current work, the following six recommendations regarding a BTC category of medications are provided. (1) Demonstration needs to occur that the risks and/or costs of BTC are outweighed by benefits, positive measurable outcomes, and financial savings to society. (2) Sufficient resources, including personnel, equipment, and facilities, need to be available for the appropriate provision of BTC services and to ensure ongoing monitoring and controls. (3) An appropriate compensation structure needs to be developed. (4) Encounters and outcomes should be documented in an electronic record, the information should be shared with other health care providers involved in patients care, and interprofessional collaboration and communication should occur. (5) Criteria for designating candidates for transition, ongoing review for safety, and reverse transition must be developed. (6) Applicable lessons learned from other countries should be incorporated into BTC strategies. In addition to implementation recommendations, we also summarize additional evidence that needs to be gathered to optimize the BTC model. Implementation of a BTC model probably is feasible in the United States. However, the optimal model remains uncertain and various aspects of a program need to be prioritized and rigorously tested.
COMPARATIVE RISKS OF NON-PRESCRIPTION ANALGESICS: A STRUCTURED TOPIC REVIEW AND RESEARCH PRIORITIES.
By: EJ Lavonas, KM Reynolds, JL Green et al.
Summary: This review is to quantify and compare competing risks associated with the use of non-prescription analgesics and identify research needs. Although generally safe, all non-prescription analgesics are associated with some harm, particularly when recommended dosing limits are exceeded. Research to quantify the competing risks of different analgesic strategies is urgently needed.
PUBLIC PERCEPTION ON THE ROLE OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS IN SELF-MEDICATION AND SELF-CARE IN HONG KONG.
By: JH You, FY Wong, FW Chan et al.
Summary: The choices for self-medication in Hong Kong are much diversified, including western and Chinese medicines and food supplements. This study was to examine Hong Kong public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding self-medication, self-care and the role of pharmacists in self-care. The majority of respondents supported patients with chronic illness to self-manage their diseases, but less than half agreed to use a pharmacist-led approach in self-care. The government should consider developing doctors-pharmacists partnership programs in the community, enhancing the role of pharmacists in primary care and providing education to patients to improve their awareness on the role of pharmacists in self-medication and self-care.
INFORMATION SOURCES USED BY PARENTS BUYING NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES IN PHARMACIES FOR PRESCHOOL CHILDREN.
By: JN Gray, HF Boardman, Symonds, B et al.
Summary: Parents are exposed to many different information sources about childrens’ medicines, including recommendations from other people, the media, and their own previous experience. This study, using survey and interview data, explored the influence of different information sources upon non-prescription medicine purchases for children aged 0-4 years. Recommendations from other people, both from health professionals and family members, were most often cited as influencing parents and carers choice of medicine. Advertising, and well-known brands of childrens medicines, were also influential. The Internet and other media were less often cited as sources. Medicines leaflets and packaging were found to be useful: a significant minority admitted difficulty in understanding all the information therein. Pharmacists and staff should consider these influences when advising childrens’ medicine purchasers. A combination of spoken advice and written reminder information would meet the preferences of most purchasers.