Dispensed medications: labeling patterns and patient knowledge at a tertiary care university hospital in Southwest Ethiopia

Hawi Yabite, Shibiru Tessema, Nasir Tajure Wabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The label on dispensed medicines should provide the patient with clear and complete instructions on how to take the drugs. Without sufficient knowledge about risks and benefits of using medicines, people will often not receive the expected clinical outcomes and may suffer adverse effects. The aim of this study was to assess the quality of labeling and patient knowledge of dispensed drugs in Jimma University Specialized Hospital. A cross-sectional prospective study was conducted from January 19 to February 24, 2009. Quality of labeling was assessed by calculating the mean labeling scores. The patient knowledge scores were obtained from patient recall of knowledge indicators. Mean dispensing and dispensing counseling was calculated. A total of 640 drugs were prescribed for 384 patients, and 544 (85.0%) were actually dispensed. The mean labeling score of the dispensed drugs was found to be 3.3 out of 7 essential dispensing quality attributes. All of the dispensed drugs were labeled with their generic name, while no drug was labeled with the patient’s name. The remaining labeling attributes such as strength (91.9%), duration of treatment (57.4%), frequency (47.4%), dose (38.6%), and amount of the drugs (15.8%) were written on dispensed drugs. The mean patient knowledge score was 3.7 out of 7. Routes of administration (100.0%), dose (96.1%), frequency (95.5%), reason for prescribing (89.3%), duration of treatment (49.6%), and name of medicine (15.1%) were recalled among the dispensed drugs. The mean dispensing and dispensing counseling times were found to be 130.2 and 29.2 seconds, respectively. Patients’ knowledge was satisfactory. However, labeling of dispensed drugs was the main problem identified. Dispensing counseling time was also too short to allow for optimal information to be given on drugs and answering questions from patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)688-693
Number of pages6
JournalDrug Information Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • dispensing information
  • patient education
  • pharmacist role
  • patient counseling


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