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Laypersons’ Understanding of the Terminology Frequently Used in Written Medication Counseling Instructions
Yakhak Hoeji 2019;63(4):230-237
Published online August 31, 2019
© 2019 The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea.

Jungseon Koo*, Jong Joo Kim**, and Hyun Soon Sohn*,#

*College of Pharmacy, CHA University, **Pharmaceutical information Research Institute, CHA University
Correspondence to: # Hyun Soon Sohn, College of Pharmacy, CHA University, Gyeonggido, 13488, Republic of Korea Tel: +82-31-881-7171, Fax: +82-31-881-7077 E-mail:
Received February 26, 2019; Revised April 13, 2019; Accepted August 13, 2019.
A pharmacist’s medication counseling instructions aims to ensure that the pharmacist delivers the correct message to the patient for the effective and safe medications use. Therefore, it is essential for patients to understand the terminology used by the pharmacists. Community pharmacies are using written medication counseling instructions, but the terms included in medication statements are too difficult for laypersons to understand. This study was conducted to investigate the laypersons’ levels of understanding the terms in the medication counseling instruction. A 44-items questionnaire survey was conducted on non-healthcare professional over 20 years of age. 33 words were selected from the medication instructions currently used in community pharmacies for top six drug classes most frequently prescribed in outpatient setting in 2017. The understanding level of medical terms was evaluated with a 4-point Likert scale. The average scores of understanding level of 299 respondents were 2.41 points for therapeutic category-related terms, 2.38 points for drug formulation-related terms, and 2.79 points for action/adverse reaction/uses-related terms. The terms with the highest rate of difficulty in understanding were ‘nasal decongestant’ (91.0% of respondents), followed by ‘continuous use’ (90.2%) and ‘slow-released tablet’ (89.0%). This study suggests that terms in medication counseling instructions need to be changed from the consumer’s perspective to the easier one, not from the provider’s perspective.
Keywords : written medication counseling instruction, understanding level, pharmacy service, community pharmacy, medical terminology

October 2019, 63 (5)
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