An Educational Intervention to Prevent Irrational Prescribing By Primary Care Physicians: Results from Turkey from the OTC-SOCIOMED Project Second Phase

Author/s: Yeşim Uncu, Züleyha Alper, Ayşegül Yıldırım Kaptanoğlu, Emre İşçi, Okay Başak

DOI: 10.12738/SM/2015.1.003

Year: 2015 Vol: 1 Number: 1

Abstract

Objective: The misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medications is a serious issue in primary healthcare, leading to the need for better education of general physicians on appropriate prescribing behavior. This study discusses the findings from the OTC-SOCIOMED project (Assessing the Over-the-Counter Medications in Primary Care and Translating the Theory of Planned Behavior into Interventions) in Turkey. Methods: During November 2011, the implementation of intervention was done in Bursa, which was selected as the study region in Turkey. The participants were 28 family physicians in Turkey who were assigned to two study groups; a three-step training intervention—a 1-day intensive course on rational drug prescription, 4 weeks of reminder messages, and face-to-face interviews—was provided for the intervention group. Four different data collection tools were used before and after the intervention: a training assessment questionnaire, a complementary questionnaire on OTC medicines, the theory of planned behavior questionnaire, and a patient medication form. Results: Participants were satisfied with the quality of the training, the delivery of the topics, and the subsequent reminder messages. There was a significant difference in only one item (“The decision to prescribe belongs completely to me”), which evaluated behavior control in the intervention group after training. The lack of time most often explained why physicians could not inform patients about OTC medicines. Conclusion: Physicians were aware of their own need for training in rational prescribing, and this training model was quite acceptable to them. However, the short study duration was an obstacle for observing attitude changes among the doctors.

Keywords
Irrational Prescription, Over-the-counter, Continuing Education