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Analysis of the third WHO Global Safety Challenge ‘Medication Without Harm’ patient-facing materials: exploratory descriptive study
  1. Kisshante Subakumar1,
  2. Bryony Dean Franklin1,2,
  3. Sara Garfield1,2
  1. 1UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2The Centre for Medication Safety and Service Quality, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Kisshante Subakumar, UCL School of Pharmacy, London, UK; kisshante.subakumar.16{at}


Objectives To evaluate patients’ views on the content and use of the ‘Five Moments for Medication Safety’ materials developed as part of the WHO’s ‘Medication Without Harm’ Global Patient Safety Challenge. These comprise a booklet, flyer, infographic poster, pamphlet and mobile application. They include recommended questions for patients to ask healthcare professionals to gain a better understanding of their medication.

Methods Structured interviews were conducted with members of the public who entered an outpatient pharmacy in a London teaching hospital, using a combination of open and closed questions. Qualitative data were analysed thematically. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively. χ2, Fisher’s exact, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to test for associations between responses and variables such as age.

Results We approached 147 people; 100 (68%) agreed to take part. Of these, 83% thought that the materials would be ‘quite’ or ‘very’ useful. Potential barriers to their use were patients being of the view that they already ask healthcare professionals about their medicines or that there would be limited time available to answer their questions during consultations. Fifty-nine per cent of participants stated that they would prefer to be given the materials in waiting areas before seeing a healthcare professional; 61% thought they should be displayed on television screens in general practice surgeries. Age was significantly associated with preference for the mobile application (χ2 test, p<0.01), with younger people preferring this format.

Conclusions Patients’ views of the Five Moments for Medication Safety materials were generally positive. Our findings suggest that they should be displayed on television screens in waiting areas and given to patients prior to appointments. More advice is needed for patients on how to incorporate the questions suggested in the resources into a brief healthcare consultation.

  • education
  • pharmacy
  • pharmacy service
  • hospital
  • safety
  • teaching
  • medical errors
  • public health

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