International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 917–924 | Cite as

Patients’ reasons for accepting a free community pharmacy asthma service

  • Susanne KaaeEmail author
  • Sofia Kälvemark Sporrong
Research Article


Background Challenges in recruiting patients at the pharmacy counter for cognitive services have been observed, hampering development in this area. To overcome this barrier, insight into the patient perspective is crucial to understanding their lack of appreciation of the services. However, very few studies have been conducted so far to explore why patients accept or decline offers of cognitive services at the pharmacy counter. Objective To explore patients’ reasons for accepting a particular cognitive service (the Inhaler Technique Assessment Service) a service intended to detect inhalation technique errors. The service is reimbursed by the Danish state and takes approximately 10 min. Setting Ten community pharmacies located in different regions of Denmark, including the center and suburbs of Copenhagen. Method Two types of interviews were conducted: long and short semi-structured interviews with 24 patients suffering mainly from asthma and COPD. Researchers from Copenhagen University conducted 11 long interviews and pharmacy internship students from Copenhagen University carried out 13 short interviews. The interviews were analyzed using descriptive analysis. Main outcome measure Patients’ perceived needs of an inhalation counseling service as well as their motivation for accepting the service, including their accounts of how the service was orally offered by staff. Results The majority of participants were used to using inhaler devices. The participants felt, for several reasons, little need of an inhaler service and seldom noticed the precise way the service was offered. Patients did not seem to accept the service expecting personal benefits. First timers appeared to accept the service to learn how to use the device correctly, whereas experienced users appeared to accept the ITAS to be helpful to staff or to learn more about health issues in general or were convinced by individual employees who showed a special interest in the participant receiving the service. Privacy problems were felt by several participants. Conclusion The patients felt little need for the inhaler counseling service. Patients however accepted the service for various reasons of which the feeling how staff showing an interest in helping them seemed especially convincing.


Cognitive services Community pharmacy Denmark Inhaler technique Recruitment 



The authors would like to thank Asmah Barzak, Kristine Aarup Hallberg Friis, Katrine Kanne, Somia Mohammad, Rikke Rishøj and Joanna Sadiq for their contributions in connection with conducting interviews during their pharmacy internship.


Actavis granted 20.000 DKr. for expenses of the study, i.e., transcriptions of interviews and presents for participants.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section for Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen ØDenmark

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