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Laypersons’ Understanding of the Terminology Frequently Used in Written Medication Counseling Instructions

약학회지 2019년 63권 4호 p.230 ~ 237
구정선 ( Koo Jung-Seon ) - 차의과학대학교 약학대학

김종주 ( Kim Jong-Joo ) - 차의과학대학교 약료정보연구원
손현순 ( Sohn Hyun-Soon ) - 차의과학대학교 약학대학


A pharmacist’s medication counseling instructions aims to ensure that the pharmacist delivers the correctmessage to the patient for the effective and safe medications use. Therefore, it is essential for patients to understand theterminology used by the pharmacists. Community pharmacies are using written medication counseling instructions, but theterms included in medication statements are too difficult for laypersons to understand. This study was conducted toinvestigate the laypersons’ levels of understanding the terms in the medication counseling instruction. A 44-itemsquestionnaire survey was conducted on non-healthcare professional over 20 years of age. 33 words were selected from themedication instructions currently used in community pharmacies for top six drug classes most frequently prescribed inoutpatient setting in 2017. The understanding level of medical terms was evaluated with a 4-point Likert scale. Theaverage scores of understanding level of 299 respondents were 2.41 points for therapeutic category-related terms, 2.38points for drug formulation-related terms, and 2.79 points for action/adverse reaction/uses-related terms. The terms with thehighest 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 tobe changed from the consumer’s perspective to the easier one, not from the provider’s perspective.


written medication counseling instruction; understanding level; pharmacy service; community pharmacy; medical terminology
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