Background and importance Recently, the number of foreign residents has significantly increased in Japan. At the consultation with physicians, the foreign language speaking patients (FLSP) often utilise medical interpreter services or ad hoc interpreters. However, few studies have reported how such patients receive information in community pharmacies affiliated with hospitals/clinics.
Aim and objectives The objective of the study was to examine how and what pharmacists communicate with FLSP at pharmacies, in the Gunma prefecture, one of the most foreign residential prefectures in Japan.
Material and methods A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among the pharmacy members of Gunma Pharmaceutical Association, in January and February 2018. The contents of the questionnaire were divided into two parts: (1) pharmacy system targeting the manager; and (2) pharmacists’ experience and skills. The answers were compared between the foreigner settlement area and the other area.
Results Of the 773 pharmacies, 372 pharmacies responded. Approximately 90% of had ever treated FLSP with English and 25 other languages. For the pharmacists’ experiences, 65% of 844 pharmacist participants had some issues with language, regularly/often. Multilingual instruction tools were prepared in 18.5% of the pharmacies. Of the pharmacies without the tools, 54% did not know of the availability of these tools. As a means of communication, ‘accompanying acquaintance and family member interpreter’ was used significantly more often in the foreigner settlement area than in the other area. Most common medication instructions for FLSP were: how to use, how to follow and confirm the effects of the medicines, and how to confirm the side effects of the medicines. All were explained significantly better in the foreigner settlement area than in the other areas.
Conclusion and relevance Regardless of where pharmacies are located, it is recommended to introduce multilingual instruction tools for FLSP.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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