Investigating Consumer Medicine Information (I-CMI) Project

Project Details
Project ID: 2007/08-03
Type: Commissioned
Status: Completed
Institution: University of Sydney
Chief Investigator: Dr Parisa Aslani

Project Summary

Anecdotal and research evidence has highlighted the limited use of Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) in the community. Document-specific issues, and limited provision by pharmacists, have been cited as reasons for why consumers are not regularly receiving CMI. This study aimed to (a) consolidate the evidence related to CMI effectiveness, (b) substantiate the validity of anecdotal evidence on CMI provision, and (c) develop and evaluate alternative CMI formats to ensure optimal effectiveness and best practice delivery in community pharmacy practice.

To address the aims, the project drew on evidence from the literature and findings of the qualitative and quantitative needs analysis with all stakeholders, including consumers and healthcare professionals. Several alternative CMI formats were developed using information design, medicine information and functional linguistics expertise, and results of earlier stages of the project. A Change Management Plan was also developed for the integration and use of CMI in community pharmacy practice. The new CMI were performance-based tested, prior to trialling in community pharmacies in three states.

Despite the poor methodological quality of studies identified in the literature, written medicine information has been shown to impact patients’ medicines knowledge, satisfaction with information received, perception of side effect risk, and intention to adhere to therapy.

Of the 1000 consumers surveyed nationally, 69% had received a CMI in the 6 months prior to the survey (38% in the month prior). Of these, 39% had received a CMI directly from the pharmacist. About 44% of the sample expressed a preference for verbal counselling.

Several alternative CMI formats were developed; most performing better than the currently available ones. The new formats overall were better utilised and received by participating pharmacists. Consumers demonstrated a preference for a summary one-page CMI for the study prescription medicine and a more detailed CMI for the pharmacist-only medicine. A more detailed version was reported to be the most useful in information content.