Natural health products (NHP) are commonly used by cancer patients. The provision of better information on NHP may improve the patient satisfaction and quality of life. We report the impact on patient satisfaction by routine counselling on NHP.
Patients visiting the pharmacy of a comprehensive cancer centre for the first time were recruited before (control) and after (intervention) the introduction of routine structured counselling on NHP by pharmacists. The primary endpoint was patient satisfaction. Overall cost and cost per improvement in satisfaction were estimated.
265 patients completed the questionnaires. The average age was about 60 years old, with roughly equal number of men and women. Breast and genitor-urinary cancers made up about 80% of the patients. Nearly 45% of patients had some college or university education. The scores for overall satisfaction and each subscale were all increased in the intervention group. This was statistically significant regarding information on NHP. Counselling was associated with an increase of about 9 minutes of counselling time and a mean additional cost of CDN$7.49 per patient.
We found increased patient satisfaction with routine counselling on NHP. There was only minimal increase in workload and cost for each counselling section.