A simulated patient study assessing over the counter supply and counseling in Jordan: responding to headache complaints
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Background Community pharmacists are the most accessible health professionals for patients seeking advice on minor ailments and over the counter supply. Objectives To assess the management of patients seeking advice for headache in community pharmacies in Jordan. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted using simulated patient in three cities in Jordan. A trained simulated patient enacted an advice-seeking scenario for the treatment of a headache. The visits were evaluated using pre-defined criteria relating to content and communication skills. Results Of 72 community pharmacies invited, 50 (69.4%) agreed to participate. Of these, 38 (76%) pharmacies were visited. The median duration of the visit was 2 min (20 s–4 min). All visits resulted in selling a drug. Paracetamol combinations often with caffeine were recommended in over 50% of visits. Drug sale recommendations were often made without obtaining essential information about symptoms or patient medical history. Only brand names and doses were often highlighted to the simulated patient. No written information was offered. Conclusion Community pharmacies in Jordan appear not to offer adequate counseling for patients seeking advice for headache. Both counseling and communication skills are suboptimal. Exploration of factors and reasons of suboptimal practice is recommended.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy service Counseling Headache Jordan Simulated patients
We are grateful to all pharmacies that agreed to take part in the study. We wish to thank Farah Shorman and Abdulfattah Al-kadash for the help in data collection. Moreover, the authors would like to thank Deanship of Academic Research at The University of Jordan for funding this project.
This work was supported by the Deanship of Academic Research, The University of Jordan (Grant Numbers 1637, 2014).
Conflicts of interest
All authors of the manuscript declare no completing or conflict of interests. They have no direct or indirect financial relationship with any official or non-official body.
- 2.World Health Organization. Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011. http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/atlas_headache_disorders/en. Accessed 20 May 2018.