Usefulness of the USP Medication Counselling Behavior Guidelines

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Objective:To assess the perceived usefulness of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Medication Counselling Behavior Guidelines among Finnish community pharmacists. The Guidelines were systematically disseminated to pharmacists through a 4-year project (TIPPA 2000–2003).Method:A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample (n = 734) of Finnish community pharmacists (response rate 51%).Results:More than one quarter (27%) of the respondents was aware of the Guidelines. The Guidelines were made known to the respondents mostly via a book on patient counselling skills (41% of those knowing the Guidelines), continuing education (37%), and in-house training (28%). Over 60% of those who knew about the Guidelines regarded them as a good or very good instrument for learning the principles of patient counselling. The Guidelines were considered less useful as an instrument for the self-evaluation of performance in different settings.Conclusion:The results of this study indicate that even though the USP Guidelines have been promoted strongly through basic and continuing education during the TIPPA Project, more than half of the respondents were not aware of the Guidelines. The Guidelines were considered more useful in learning the principles of patient counselling than learning self-evaluation of performance.

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