Pharmacy educators aims and methods for teaching approaches to over-the-counter consultations

Vassiliki Sinopoulou, Paul Rutter

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Background - Large numbers of medicines have been deregulated in recent years and more are expected to become so in the future. With community pharmacists increasingly tasked with facilitating patient self-care, pharmacy education teaching curricula have begun to give greater emphasis on pharmacy consultations. The aim of this study was to examine pharmacy educators aims for teaching approaches to OTC consultations and the elements and techniques taught.

Methods - An online questionnaire containing 22 multiple choice and open-ended questions was distributed in March 2015 in 324 countries around the world. Recipients were identified via the FIP Global Database, manual electronic search and word of mouth. Quantitative data was descriptively analysed using Excel and qualitative data was analysed thematically. Ethical approval was granted by the ethics committee of the University of Wolverhampton.

Results - Eighty-four respondents from 24 countries consented to participate in the study. All responses came from developed regions including Europe, North America and Australia. Pharmacy educators stated the overall aims of their teaching were response to patient symptoms, information gathering, diagnosing and referral skills, patient counselling and communication skills. The teaching elements they viewed as most important were appropriateness for treating/referring and knowledge of signs and symptoms. 56% of respondents stated they were using a specific technique to elicit patient information, compared to 28.5% that didn't. The most popular technique was the use of acronyms, the most prominent of which was WWHAM, taught by 30% of respondents.

Conclusions - Pharmacy educators aims and methods of teaching students about over-the-counter consultations in western nations are mostly in line with the modern needs of community pharmacy. However, there are questions over the appropriateness of the widespread use of mnemonic techniques taught and used in community pharmacy settings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Social Pharmacy Workshop - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 23 Jul 201826 Jul 2018


ConferenceInternational Social Pharmacy Workshop
Abbreviated titleISPW 2018
Internet address


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