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Journal de Pharmacie Clinique

Assessment of patient information concerning medication in a teaching hospital of Paris Volume 21, numéro 2, Juin 2002

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Patient information is of major concern in quality approach in hospitals. Information concerning medication must consider both directions for use and potential risks. The purpose of this study, which was carried out in a large teaching hospital in Paris, was to assess patients' knowledge concerning their medications in two situations: inpatients on discharge from hospital and outpatients. The factors selected for study included patient characteristics, information provided for each drug, the attitude of patient to get informed, patient degree of satisfaction. Two hundred and twelve outpatients and 197 inpatients on discharge from hospital were interviewed. More than 80% of them are satisfied with the information regarding their medications. While the degree of knowledge is overall good among outpatients, it is lower and insufficient among inpatients. In both populations, side-effects is the less known information, and the degree of knowledge is the poorest for local-use drugs. Half outpatients and a third of inpatients, ask questions to the physician; this active approach seems to be of importance for a good degree of knowledge concerning medication. This study indicates that although patients are satisfied about information delivered, there is often a lack of practical counseling, especially on discharge from hospital, resulting in iatrogenic risks for the patient.