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Swiss Med Wkly. 2011 Jun 24;141:w13204. doi: 10.4414/smw.2011.13204.

Knowledge of oral drug treatment in immunocompromised patients on hospital discharge.

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  • 1Hospital Pharmacy Department, AP-HP Georges Pompidou European Hospital, Paris, FR.



Several studies have shown that patients' inappropriate knowledge about their medication is associated with non-adherence. The aim of this study was to assess immunocompromised inpatient knowledge of their oral drug treatment on discharge.


We conducted a single-centre, prospective, cross-sectional study from July to November 2008 in the Immunology unit of a university-based hospital. Knowledge of all oral prescribed medication was assessed before discharge of immunocompromised inpatients using a self-administered questionnaire, assessing drug name, dosage, indication and administration guidelines. Prescribed drugs were classified as treatments for chronic disease, or as adjuvant treatments which were differentiated regarding their link with the chronic disease.


Over four months, 17 transplant recipients and 38 HIV-infected patients were included. Overall, 57% of the 497 prescribed drugs were adequately known. The proportions of drugs adequately known were 79%, 91%, 81% and 62% respectively for the drug name, dosage, indication and administration guideline components. Drugs for the treatment of chronic disease were more adequately known than adjuvant treatments. Older age and a low educational level were significantly associated with poor knowledge of drugs.


Immunocompromised patients demonstrated moderate to good knowledge of oral drugs on discharge. Adjuvant treatments were less well known than drugs for the treatment of chronic disease. Some recommendations for interventions aimed at utilising the skills of clinical pharmacists are needed. Efforts which encourage patients to be active participants in their own treatment could improve therapeutic adherence and reduce potential complications.

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