Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 6–12 | Cite as

The perceived role and skills of pharmacists in asthma management after in‐house training

  • Kirsti K. Vainio
  • Maarit J.H. Korhonen
  • K. Hannes Enlund
  • Anne M. Hirvonen


Objective: To evaluate perceived roles and skills of pharmacists in asthma management before and after a training intervention that consisted of six in‐house training sessions. Method: Altogether 315 pharmacists in the intervention group and 121 pharmacists in the control group participated in the study. The data on study variables were collected by a questionnaire during the first and last training sessions.Main outcome measures: Pharmacists' perceptions of their role, perceived skills, estimates of patients receiving counselling and experienced problems.Results: Based on their ratings for 16 topics, the pharmacists' perceptions about their role in counselling asthma patients remained rather stable. Handling of the inhalers and inhalation technique were considered as the most important aspects of counselling and issues dealing with the disease were regarded as the least important. Using a self‐rated scale (4‐10 scale), pharmacists' perceived counselling skills improved in the intervention group (6.5 vs 7.6), but not in the control group (6.5 vs 6.4). In the intervention group, the pharmacists' estimates of the proportion of new users of asthma medicines receiving counselling increased from 48% to 61% and that of old users from 18% to 26%. Before the training, the most commonly experienced problem in counselling was the pharmacists' lack of knowledge and skills. After the training, pharmacists experienced problems mainly with communication. Conclusion: When pharmacists are included in the support system for any patient group, their capabilities of fulfilling their role have to be assessed. In particular, communication skills and outcome‐oriented counselling require attention.

Asthma Continuing education Counselling Knowledge Pharmacist Practice research Role Skills Survival analysis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsti K. Vainio
    • 1
  • Maarit J.H. Korhonen
    • 1
  • K. Hannes Enlund
    • 1
  • Anne M. Hirvonen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social PharmacyUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland
  2. 2.Association of Finnish PharmaciesHelsinkiFinland

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