Objectives: The objectives of this study were to determine what type of medicine-related questions community pharmacists were asked and to ascertain whether responses given were appropriate.
Methods: All community pharmacists from three Primary Care Trusts were invited to participate in a week-long exploratory study. Piloted data-collection forms were self-completed. Data were analysed descriptively using Microsoft Excel and statistical tests conducted with Minitab.
Key findings: Sixty-six medicines-related questions were answered by participating pharmacists. The type of questions asked were varied and asked by patients, the general public and health care professionals. Most answers (over 80%) were assessed as being appropriate; only four questions raised concern with assessors that possible patient harm may have resulted. Almost half (42%) of the questions were answered without consultation to any reference source.
Conclusions: Despite the small-scale nature of the study the findings show that community pharmacists provide a good-quality service that is easily accessible to all people. However, the failure to use reference sources may impact on pharmacists' ability to answer medicine-related questions fully.
- Community pharmacy
- Medicines information