To assess pharmacists’ provision of antidepressant information and to examine the effect of patient ethnicity and language skills on pharmacists’ provision of information and patient education.
Cross-sectional, randomized, between-subjects study.
Wisconsin, from September to November 2008.
540 community pharmacists.
Participants were exposed to one of three vignettes describing a patient coming into the pharmacy for an initial dispensation of an antidepressant. Vignettes varied according to patient ethnicity (white or Hispanic) and language spoken (English or Spanish).
Main outcome measures
Respondents’ information and education messages given to patients about antidepressants and whether Hispanic patient ethnicity and English language ability reduced pharmacists’ communication about antidepressants.
A majority of participants would provide information regarding the medication's name (93.3%) and dosage schedule (92.8%). Many pharmacists also reported that they would tell the patient to take the medication on a daily basis (92.6%) and that it takes 2 to 4 weeks for the medication to have a noticeable effect (87.8%). Multivariate models showed that pharmacists would provide significantly less information (β = −0.24 [95% CI −0.31 to −0.17]) and education messages (–0.17 [–0.24 to −0.09]) to Spanish-speaking patients.
These findings suggest that Spanish-speaking patients may face disparities in the level of care received from community pharmacists. Interventions should be available to enhance pharmacists’ communication with Spanish-speaking patients in an effort to facilitate safe and effective medication use.