Table 3

Characteristics of enquirers who use patient medicines helpline services

First author, year published N Mean age% female% enquired for self% repeat callers% discharged inpatients% outpatients
Adam, 200445 9062%
Bramley, 201412 31250%70%
Burgess, 200947 1776%40% *60% *
Cuthbert, 201326 1870 (SD=15)61%56%
Dhillon, 201122 10963%64%15%
Martin, 201450 26269 (SD=NK)50%79%51% †49% †
Teli, 200152 NR72%18%
Williams, 199424 1704%
Average (mean)7057%69%10%54%42%
Weighted average (mean)6953%72%8%50% ‡50% ‡
HES data, where available53 §57% ¶18%82%
  • Part of the data for the studies by Cuthbert, 2013 and Martin, 2014 were obtained from the authors via personal communication.

  • *In the study by, Burgess, 200947 two service users were members of the public. Therefore, in order to only use the data regarding inpatients and outpatients, we calculated the percentages of discharged inpatients and outpatients using only the total number of callers who were discharged inpatients or outpatients (n=15).

  • †In the study by, Martin, 201450 21% of service users were reported as being from ophthalmological surgery or clinics, and 22% were not reported. Therefore, in order to only use the data regarding inpatients and outpatients, we calculated the percentages of discharged inpatients and outpatients using only the total number of callers who were discharged inpatients or outpatients (n=149).

  • ‡The weighted averages for percentages of discharged inpatients and percentages of discharged outpatients are based on two of three studies, since the sample size was not reported in the study by Teli, 2001.52

  • §Range of mean ages over 5 years of HES data=52–54 years. Only HES admitted patient care data were used, since mean age was not reported in HES outpatient data sets.

  • ¶Range of percentages over 5 years of HES data=57%–58%.

  • HES, Hospital episode Statistics; NK, not known; NR, not reported.