One vital requirement for patient adherence to medicines is good patient
knowledge of the medicines dispensed and this will invariably be linked to
good labelling and counselling.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of labelling of medicines
and determine patient knowledge of the administration of medicines dispensed
from a community pharmacy in Ghana.
From 6th to 29th January, 2010, dispensed prescriptions of 280 clients were
purposely sampled to evaluate the quality of labelling. These clients were
also interviewed about their knowledge of the last medicine received
immediately after dispensing. A scoring system was employed by awarding a
point for each attribute written on the package and each attribute stated by
the patient. The dispensing attributes noted were name, dosage, frequency,
duration, quantity and route of administration.
Of the 280 patients interviewed, 157 (56%) were males. Thirty one (11%) had
no education and 99(35%) were secondary school graduates. Antimalarials
comprised 17.9% and analgesics, 15.4% of medicines dispensed. The name,
quantity, dosage, frequency, duration of therapy and route of administration
were written on the label in 98%, 99%, 55%, 54%, 6% and 2% respectively of
the dispensed medicines. The mean labelling score was 3.096 (SD=1.05) out of
6. The corresponding patient knowledge values were 63%, 80%, 80%, 75%, 57%
and 86%. The mean knowledge score was 4.375 (SD; 1.38) out of 6. The chi
square test p-value for the effect of demographic characteristics (sex,
educational background, location) on patient knowledge of medicines
dispensed were p=0.454; p=0.000, and p=0.138 respectively.
Patient knowledge of the administration of dispensed medicines was rated
good; and this largely corresponded with the quality of labelling, except
that the duration of therapy and route of administration was not frequently
written and so labelling was rated just above average.