Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 47–53 | Cite as

Desire for information about drugs: a survey of the need for information in psychiatric in-patients

  • Lieven ZwaenepoelEmail author
  • Rita Bilo
  • Willy De Boever
  • Marc De Vos
  • Johan Reyntens
  • Vera Hoorens
  • Walter Sermeus
  • Gert Laekeman



Promoting therapy adherence requires understanding various psychosocial parameters, including patients’ need for information. Drug information adapted to patients’ needs may empower them and increase their confidence in drug therapy. Objectives: To explore psychiatric in-patients’ information preferences and to test the reliability of a Dutch version of the Intrinsic Desire for Information (IDI) scale in psychiatric institutions in Flanders.


Standardised interviews were conducted with psychiatric patients in 11 hospitals. The interview consisted of the IDI-scale and five open questions. Patient demographics collected were sex, age, number of medicines taken, diagnosis, number of admissions during the past year, marital status, education level and occupation.


279 patient interviews were completed. A factor analysis on the original 12-item scale yielded 3 factors. An abbreviated scale was derived from the first factor (F1). This 6-item scale measured ‘extent of information desired:’ (EID) and consisted of six items (Cronbach’s α = 0,73). A second factor (F2) measured ‘information provider preference’ (IPP) (α = 0,56) and a third factor (F3) measured ‘inhibited information desire’ (IID) (α = 0,69). EID was associated with number of medicines taken, duration of hospitalisation and marital status.


The internal reliability of the EID-factor appears to be reproducible in the specific setting of psychiatric hospitals. It may be useful to help healthcare professionals develop pharmaceutical care towards psychiatric patients. Validation of the scale remains to be completed. Information need in psychiatric in-patients measured by the EID-score was comparable to the need measured in general hospitals during earlier research in England. Targeted information services seem to be desirable to enhance therapy adherence and quality of life in psychiatric patients.


Belgium Drug information IDI scale Hospital Information need Psychiatry 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lieven Zwaenepoel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rita Bilo
    • 2
  • Willy De Boever
    • 3
  • Marc De Vos
    • 4
  • Johan Reyntens
    • 5
  • Vera Hoorens
    • 6
  • Walter Sermeus
    • 7
  • Gert Laekeman
    • 1
  1. 1.Drug and Patient Information – Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, K.U. LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Psychiatric Center Sint-Jan de DeoGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Psychiatric Hospital Sint-HiëronymusSint-NiklaasBelgium
  4. 4.Psychiatric Hospital Sint-Jan-BaptistZelzateBelgium
  5. 5.Psychiatric Hospital Sint-JanEekloBelgium
  6. 6.Laboratory of Experimental Social Psychology – Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences K.U. LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  7. 7.Centre for Hospital and Nursing Sciences – Faculty of Medicine K.U. LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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