Patients' perceptions of drug therapy counseling in Israel

Segev Shani, Tal Morginstin, Amnon Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The more patients know about their medications the higher their compliance with drug therapy, reflecting an effective communication between health professionals and their patients. Numerous studies on this subject have been published, but none has been conducted in Israel. Objectives: To evaluate patients' perceptions of drug counseling by health professionals - the prescribing physician and dispensing pharmacist - and to determine whether there is a difference in the patient's perception according to his or her place of birth and mother tongue. Methods: A total of 810 patients were interviewed following receipt of their medications from in-house pharmacies at two community clinics of Israel's largest sick fund. Each patient was interviewed in his or her mother tongue according to a constructed questionnaire, which included the patient's demographic background, type of medications received, the patient's perceptions of drug counseling given by both the physician and the pharmacist, and the patient's perception of non-prescription drug counseling given by the dispensing pharmacist. Results: Of the 810 patients enrolled in this study, 32% received three or more medications at each physician visit. The main therapeutic classes of medications prescribed and dispensed were for neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal problems and respiratory diseases. While 99% of the patients claimed that they knew how to use their medications, only 96% reported receiving an explanation from their physician or pharmacist. The quality of counseling, as evaluated by the patients, was ranked above average for 75% of the consultations with the prescribing physician and 63% with the dispensing pharmacist. Conclusions: Although few conclusions can be drawn from this study based on the initial statistical analysis of the data, the major finding were that patients value highly the counseling they receive and that 99% believe they have the requisite knowledge for using their medications. Compared to the international literature, our results - based on the patients' perceptions - indicate that counseling by pharmacists is a common and well-accepted activity in Israel and occurs at a high rate.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)438-441
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


  • Drug therapy
  • Patient counseling
  • Patients' perceptions


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