OBJECTIVES: To examine the prevalence of patient-pharmacy staff communication about medications for pain and arthritis and to assess disparities in communication by demographic, socioeconomic, and health indicators.
DESIGN: Descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Alabama between 2005 and 2007.
PATIENTS: 687 Patients participating in the Alabama NSAID Patient Safety Study (age >or=50 years and currently taking a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug [NSAID]).
INTERVENTION: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Communication with pharmacy staff about prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs was examined before and after adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic, and health indicators.
RESULTS: For the entire cohort (n = 687), mean (+/-SD) age was 68.3 +/- 10.0 years, 72.8% were women, 36.4% were black, and 31.2% discussed use of prescription pain/arthritis medications with pharmacy staff. Discussing use of prescription pain/arthritis medications with pharmacy staff differed by race/gender (P < 0.001): white men (40.3%), white women (34.6%), black men (30.2%), and black women (19.8%). Even after multivariable adjustment, black women had the lowest odds of discussing their medications with pharmacy staff (odds ratio 0.40 [95% CI 0.24-0.56]) compared with white men. For the 63.0% of participants with recently overlapping prescription and OTC NSAID use, communication with pharmacy staff about OTC NSAIDs use was only 13.7% and did not vary significantly by race/gender group.
CONCLUSION: Given the complex risks and benefits of chronic NSAID use, pharmacists, pharmacy staff, and patients all are missing an important opportunity to avoid unsafe prescribing and decrease medication adverse events.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/catarina_kiefe/178/