Browsing Pharmacy Student Research Projects by Authors
Descriptive Study of Student Pharmacist Perceptions of Patient Health Literacy and Self Assessment of Student Pharmacist Communication TechniquesLindsey, Marti; Garcia, Miguel; Lindsey, Marti; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2012)Specific Aims: The objective of this study is to first assess whether student pharmacist interns feel they can gauge patient health literacy levels with confidence, second to assess which methods are used most commonly in practice by student pharmacists to assess patient health literacy, and third to determine what techniques student pharmacist interns most often employ to communicate more effectively to patients with low health literacy. Methods: The questionnaire consisted of questions about demographics, and knowledge/experiential based questions. Key questions were: How well do you feel you are able to assess patient health literacy? How often do you use the following techniques to assess patient health literacy? (Observe contextual clues, Observe patient word pronunciation, Observe patient willingness to talk, Assess by demographics) When counseling low health literacy patients, how often do you use the following communication techniques? (Speak slowly, Give extra written material, Repeat information, Ask patient to repeat information, Ask if patient understands English, Avoid complicated medical terms). The answers to these questions are measured on a likert scale. Data from the questionnaire was analyzed using one sample t tests and paired t tests. Main Results: Regarding the first primary objective, on a scale of 1 to 5, with confidence measured 3 or greater and no confidence measured 2 or less, student intern pharmacists are statistically significantly confident in their ability to gauge patient health literacy (p< 0.001). There is no statistically significant difference in confidence in ability to gauge patient health literacy between males and females. The method student pharmacist interns used for assessing patient health literacy with the highest average use was observing patient willingness to talk (3.65 +/- 1.01) followed by observing patient word pronunciation (3.57 +/- 0.97), assessing patient demographics (race, age, ability to pay, culture, gender) (3.23 +/- 1.16) and observing contextual clues (patients identify pills by color, asks to be read to, etc) (3.04 +/- 1.04). There was no statistically significant difference between observing patient willingness to talk versus observing patient word pronunciation (p=0.55). There is a statistically significant difference between observing patient willingness to talk versus assessing patient demographics (p=0.011). The technique for improving communication with patients with low health literacy with the highest average use was avoiding complicated medical terms (3.97 +/- 0.95) followed by speaking slowly (3.91 +/- 0.89), repeating information (3.85 +/- 0.73), giving extra written material (3.02 +/- 1.36), asking patients if they understand English (2.85 +/- 1.21) and asking patients to repeat information. (2.39 +/- 1.02). There is a statistically significant difference between avoiding complicated medical terms and giving out extra written material (p<0.001) and speaking slowly and giving out extra written material (p<0.001). Conclusions: We conclude that students pharmacists working as interns are quite confident in their ability to assess patient health literacy, that observing patient willingness to talk is be the most commonly used method to assess patient health literacy, and that avoiding complicated medical terms is be the most commonly used technique student pharmacist interns use to communicate more effectively with patients who have low health literacy.