Patient recall of health care provider counseling for opioid-acetaminophen prescriptions

Danielle M. Mccarthy*, Kenzie A. Cameron, Jennifer P. King, Rebecca J. Mullen, Stacy Cooper Bailey, Kara L. Jacobson, Lorenzo Di Francesco, Terry C. Davis, Ruth M. Parker, Mike S. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and nature of physician, nurse, and pharmacist verbal counseling at the time of a new prescription for an opioid-acetaminophen containing medication as recalled by patients. Design: A mixed methods approach with data from cross sectional, structured interviews was used. Setting: The settings were one academic emergency department in Chicago, IL and one outpatient pharmacy at a public hospital in Atlanta, GA. Patients: One hundred forty-nine patients receiving a new prescription for an opioid-acetaminophen medication were enrolled. Methods: Interviews assessed patient recall of counseling they received from their physician, nurse, and pharmacist upon receiving the new prescription. Their responses were unitized and assigned to categories. Results: One hundred forty-nine patients were enrolled; 61.1% African American and 58.4% female. Seven major categories of responses were noted; frequencies of patient recall for counseling in these categories were reported. Four categories related to the content of the counseling discussion were 1) details of administration (patient recall counseling from: physician/nurse only 44.3%, pharmacist only 5.4%, both providers 12.8%); 2) activities to avoid and side effects (36.2%, 4.7%, 8.7%); 3) medication indication (32.9%, 4%, 4%); and 4) addictive potential (9.3%, 1.3%, 0%). Three categories describe patients' recall of the interaction in broad terms: 5) being referred to print informational material accompanying the prescription (MD/RN only 7.4%, pharmacist only 20.1%, both providers 2.7%); 6) having questions solicited (0%, 11.4%, 0%); 7) having no interaction relating to medication counseling (3.4%, 32.2%, 1.3%). Conclusions: Patients infrequently recall counseling from providers on topics that are important to prevent harm from opioid-acetaminophen prescriptions. Future patient-centered clinical research should target identifying optimal strategies to convey these critical messages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1750-1756
Number of pages7
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Acetaminophen
  • Hydrocodone
  • Medication counseling
  • Opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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