A review of the information-gathering process for the provision of medicines for self-medication via community pharmacies in developing countries

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Abstract

Background

Currently, no review has been completed regarding the information-gathering process for the provision of medicines for self-medication in community pharmacies in developing countries.

Objective

To review the rate of information gathering and the types of information gathered when patients present for self-medication requests.

Methods

Six databases were searched for studies that described the rate of information gathering and/or the types of information gathered in the provision of medicines for self-medication in community pharmacies in developing countries. The types of information reported were classified as: signs and symptoms, patient identity, action taken, medications, medical history, and others.

Results

Twenty-two studies met the inclusion criteria. Variations in the study populations, types of scenarios, research methods, and data reporting were observed. The reported rate of information gathering varied from 18% to 97%, depending on the research methods used. Information on signs and symptoms and patient identity was more frequently reported to be gathered compared with information on action taken, medications, and medical history.

Conclusion

Evidence showed that the information-gathering process for the provision of medicines for self-medication via community pharmacies in developing countries is inconsistent. There is a need to determine the barriers to appropriate information-gathering practice as well as to develop strategies to implement effective information-gathering processes. It is also recommended that international and national pharmacy organizations, including pharmacy academics and pharmacy researchers, develop a consensus on the types of information that should be reported in the original studies. This will facilitate comparison across studies so that areas that need improvement can be identified.

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