Influence of time stress and other variables on counseling by pharmacists about antiretroviral medications

Smith, Scott R.; Golin, Carol E.; Reif, Susan
June 2004
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;6/1/2004, Vol. 61 Issue 11, p1120
Academic Journal
Purpose. The medication counseling practices of pharmacists caring for patients with HIV infection and the factors influencing their counseling behaviors regarding anti- retroviral medications were examined. Methods. A questionnaire was mailed in February 2000 to pharmacist-managers of 573 ambulatory care pharmacies providing medications to beneficiaries of the North Carolina AIDS Drug Assistance Program. The frequency of and attitudes about adherence counseling for patients with HIV infection; the time allocated, spent and needed to provide high-quality care to these patients; and pharmacists' time pressure and time stress were measured. Results. Of the 573 questionnaires mailed, 440 (77%) were usable. Fifty-nine percent of pharmacists reported that they did not have enough time to provide adherence counseling to patients receiving antiretroviral medications, and 45% reported that most of their patients did not receive such counseling. Time-stressed pharmacists were significantly less likely to perform 12 of 22 counseling behaviors, including discussing adverse effects (13% versus 24%,p < 0.0089), drug interactions (13% versus 31%,p < 0.0001), and what to do if a dose is missed (8% versus 23%, p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed that time stress, perceived skill and interest in adherence counseling, and job satisfaction were significantly associated with the counseling index. Conclusion. Time pressure and other barriers appeared to limit the care that some pharmacists offered to patients with HIV infection. Pharmacist age, job satisfaction, and perceived skill and interest in adherence counseling influenced the comprehensiveness of the counseling pharmacists provided for patients receiving antiretroviral medications.


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