Factors Influencing Drug Use Information Received at Primary Healthcare Centre Pharmacies in Ghana

Publication Name

Health Services Insights


Background: Health literacy addresses environmental, political, and social factors that determine health. Drug dispensers play a major role in educating patients on drug use to increase effective and efficient drug utilisation, thereby promoting positive healthcare outcomes. From the patients’ perspective, this study examined the communication quality between patients and drug dispensers at primary healthcare centres in the Cape Coast Metropolis of Ghana. Method: We conveniently surveyed 269 patients seeking health care at primary healthcare facilities using a researcher-constructed 13-item instrument. In SPSS version 21 software, we analysed the data using percentages, chi-square analysis, and logistic regression. Results: Almost half of the participants (n = 132) reported low health literacy, with 81% (n = 218) reporting that drug side effects were not discussed with them at the pharmacies. The findings further indicated that health literacy and educational level predicted general communication quality between participants and drug dispensers; participants with secondary education were about 3 times more likely to report not being told of the side effects of prescribed drugs as compared with those who had completed only basic education. Conclusions: There is still a high level of low health literacy among patients seeking healthcare at primary healthcare centres and a very high percentage of patients did not receive any education on side effects of dispensed drugs. Drug use directives from dispensers at primary healthcare facilities can make a difference between any 2 patients.

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