Experiences of and attitudes towards receiving information about non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a cross-sectional survey of patients in Thailand

Objective: To determine sources of information about NSAIDs used by out-patients, factors related to receipt of information and patient attitudes towards receiving safety information.

Research design and methods: Cross-sectional survey, using self-completed questionnaires distributed directly to 500 outpatients prescribed any NSAIDs from an orthopaedic clinic in Thailand, over a 4-month period.

Results: There were 548 patients approached and 474 completed questionnaires returned (94.8%). The most frequent aspects of medicines information that were provided related to administration (97.2%), mostly provided by pharmacists, and indication (85.8%), mostly provided by physicians. Information on identifying, monitoring and managing adverse effects was received by fewer than 50% of patients. Safety information was received significantly more frequently by younger patients (P<0.01), those using non-selective COX-2 inhibitors (P<0.001), intermittent NSAIDs (P<0.05) and fewer concomitant medicines (P<0.05). Only 14.1% patients used additional information sources. Attitudes towards receiving medicines safety information were positive. Most patients agreed they should know about ADRs (98.1%) and receive information leaflets with first prescription (96.8%).

Conclusions: Patients received medicines information mostly from healthcare professionals, but safety information was limited. Type of NSAIDs, regularity of NSAID use and age affected receipt of safety information about NSAIDs. Provision of more medicine information is needed, particularly written documents.