Background Assessing and satisfying patient expectation are essential in successful patient-centered communication. Recognizing the gap between patient expectation and perception during pharmacist–patient communication can help to identify communication problems and suggest ways to improve communication. Objective To evaluate the gap between patient expectation and perception of sharing information and communications skills during pharmacist–patient communication. Setting Community pharmacies in South Korea. Method A questionnaire was developed to collect expectation and perception of sharing information and communication skills. Items for sharing information included drug effect, dosage/route of administration, adverse drug reactions, storage, drug–drug interactions, drug–food interactions, managing a missed dose or overdose, co-medication, and past drug allergies. Communication skills included friendliness, expertise, easy language, emphasis on main content, confirmation of understanding, enough time, calm environment, and private space. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 500 convenience sample using an online or written questionnaire in May 2018. Responses about patient expectation and perception were scored using 4-point Likert scales. Gap between patient expectation and perception was calculated as the differences among 4-point Likert scores. Factors associated with patient expectation and gap scores were evaluated using a multivariable regression method. Main outcome measure Patient expectation and perception of sharing information, as well as perception of communication skills during pharmacist–patient communication (questionnaire consisting 35 items). Results This study analyzed responses of 460 participants who answered all items on the questionnaire. Most respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they want to share information with pharmacists. All items had significant gap between patient expectation and perception (p < 0.01). Gap scores were highest for adverse drug reaction, drug–drug interaction, and past drug allergies (all, median 2). Gap scores were negatively associated with age 50–59 years, ≥ 60 years, and presence of ≥ 1 chronic illness. Patient perception of communication skills, especially regarding private space, were poor. Conclusions The information shared with pharmacists was significantly less than that expected by participants, and most pharmacist communication skills were evaluated as poor. Understanding the expectation of each patient and communicating accordingly with appropriate communication skills are necessary to improve patient-centered communication in community pharmacies.
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- Community pharmacy
- Health communication
- Patient expectation
- Patient perception
- South Korea