Patient Counselling

Definition of Patient Counselling

Patient counselling is defined as the process of providing information advice and assistance by the pharmacist to the patient in improving his knowledge and behaviour towards the prescribed drug therapy.

The information is being supplied to the patient in the form of patient information leaflets, verbal instructions and demonstrations.

Pharmacists usually counsel the patients directly or with the help of their attendants.


  • To make patients recognize the importance of medication that he or she is taking.
  • To minimize the adverse drug reactions and drug interactions.
  • To prepare the patients to cope with medication side effects and drug interactions in a better way.
  • To develop a good rapport and working relationship between the patient and pharmacist.
  • To improve patient compliance.
  • Assistance with self-care.
  • To promote the image of a pharmacist as a professional who offers pharmaceutical care and counselling.
  • Reduction in health care costs by minimizing wastage of medication.
  • Maintaining time control of the session.

Steps During A Successful Counselling Session

  1. Preparing the counselling session.
  2. Opening the counselling session
  3. Ask about medication; explain the importance & purpose of counselling.
  4. Update the patient’s medication profile.
  5. Counselling content.
  6. Discussion of additional information required.
  7. Closing the counselling content.

Patient Counselling Techniques In Special Conditions

a) Suggested techniques for the Visually impaired:

  1. Large types of labels and written materials, use of bold prints.
  2. Braille labels or instructions.
  3. Well-ventilated counselling area and postal colour background to improve contrast.
  4. Shape, size, and smell of the medications and containers to distinguish medicines from each other.
  5. Marking the containers with something to set apart.
  6. Devices such as magnifiers for syringes.
  7. The local society for more tips and suggestions.

b) Suggested techniques for hearing impaired:

  1. Face the patient and speak slowly, and distinctly, use low pitch, and do not yell.
  2. Facial expressions to communicate.
  3. Pictograms and auxiliary labels to convey ideas.
  4. If educated submit written counselling content materials.
  5. Choose a quiet and pleasant area that helps patients with hearing aids.

c) Low literacy patients:

  1. Careful verbal instructions, ask for recap information.
  2. Pictograms and auxiliary labels for reminders.
  3. Video instructions
  4. Use of numbers, colours, and symbols to distinguish medications.
  5. Organized pill containers by day and time of dose.

d) Communication with children:

  1. Attempt to communicate at the child’s developmental level.
  2. Use simple declarative sentences.
  3. Cross questioning.
  4. Verbal and nonverbal communication to the maximum extent.

e) Communication with comprehension difficulty:

  1. Patience, kindness, and extra attention to nonverbal messages.
  2. Speak slowly and clearly keep a simple smile.
  3. Use a calendar or containers to remember when to use medication.
  4. Attendant inclusion.

f) Communication with special diseases:

  1. Convey the message as a chronic condition rather than a terminal disease.
  2. Show empathy.
Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on: Over The Counter Drugs
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