WS9: How to support patient with limited pharmaceutical literacy?

Marcel Bouvy, Utrecht University
Ellen Koster, Utrecht University


Substantial numbers of patients do not optimally benefit from pharmacotherapy. Clear patient education and counseling in the pharmacy are therefore of utmost importance to optimize treatment. In the context of medication use, specific skills are required, e.g. skills to understand and apply the instructions how to use the medication, understand what the medication is for, and what its adverse effects can be. These specific skills are referred to as pharmaceutical literacy skills. Patients with limited pharmaceutical literacy are at increased risk of drug-related problems.
To date, more and more information in health care is presented online, e.g. in the form of websites, or mobile applications. The internet is an important source of information for patients, but it is unclear whether they are able to obtain, assess and use this information adequately. Studies have shown that a large proportion of patients have limited pharmaceutical literacy, but less is known about patients’ eHealth literacy, specifically with regard to information related to medication.

Target audience:

In this workshop we will discuss which specific needs patients with limited pharmaceutical and especially limited eHealth literacy have regarding pharmacy services and how to support these patients in pharmacy practice when providing pharmaceutical care.
The workshop will give a brief overview of basic concepts regarding pharmaceutical literacy and eHealth literacy and some examples of tools to be used for patient education and counseling. During the workshop participants will be asked to suggest solutions to overcome challenges. In addition, they will work on a group assignment.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the session the participants will be aware of the challenges of limited pharmaceutical and eHealth literacy in daily pharmacy practice. In addition, participants have insight in tools to overcome these barriers in daily pharmacy practice.
Specific learning objectives are:
• Get acquainted with the concept of pharmaceutical literacy, and eHealth literacy in specific, and the challenges in providing pharmaceutical care for these patients;
• To define solutions to overcome the defined challenges;
• To propose suggestions for improvement of patient education and counseling materials.

Content and Structure:

10 minutes getting to know each other
20 minutes introduction
20 minutes first assignment
10 minutes plenary discussion
20 minutes additional information
20 minutes second assignment
20 minutes plenary discussion

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