Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 238–247 | Cite as

Teaching and counselling behaviour: an applied study with community pharmacists.

  • L Leemans
  • G Laekeman


Continuing education aims at improving practice. In this article, three main research questions are addresssed: Which methodology is optimal to improve counselling behaviour? Are learning outcomes influenced by learning style? Does knowing imply doing? Four educational methods, transferring information on cough medicines, are assessed: a lecture, an interactive workshop, an audiocassette and a textbook. Attendants of the first three methods also received the textbook. Pharmacists completed a learning‐style inventory in addition to a pretest. After the instruction phase, they were interviewed by telephone (post‐test). We also evaluated the counselling behaviour by an 'incognito' visit to participants as well as to controls. Seventy‐eight pharmacists participated. Their learning‐style cannot be related to the results of pre‐or posttest. Each educational method improved the level of knowledge significantly, but none of them proved to be better than the others. The pharmacists who in addition read the textbook, acquired more knowledge than those who did not. Self‐study at home led to more fundamental rather than practical knowledge. Improving knowledge does not result in better counselling: 75% of the pharmacists asked only one question, especially concerning the type of cough. However 9 out of 10 mentioned how to use the drug. About half of the pharmacists told the patient about the action of the medicine. Other items were hardly ever mentioned. There was no difference in counselling behaviour between the intervention group and a group of pharmacists who did not attend the course. This investigation does not reveal any particular method of in‐service training as being more efficient. Active use of self‐study materials helps to improve pharmacological knowledge. Implementing educational strategies to improve counselling behaviour remains a future aim.

Continuing education Cough Counselling Distance learning Evaluation Learning‐style Pharmacy practice Community pharmacist 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • L Leemans
    • 1
  • G Laekeman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Drug and Patient Information, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesCatholic University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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