Patients’ knowledge of prescribed medication: a cross sectional study in a tertiary care centre, Mumbai

Ashis Samuel John, Kamaxi M. Bhate


Background: Inadequate understanding by patients of medical prescription given to them adversely affects treatment compliance; which can result in treatment failure and increase the incidence of adverse effects. The study site is a tertiary care hospital in a metropolitan city and the patients attending here are particularly vulnerable in this regard both due to the heavy patient load in the outpatient department and their low socioeconomic status.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted in the pharmacy of K.E.M. Hospital, Mumbai over a period of 1 month. Study population included general outpatient department patients of the hospital. Patients were interviewed using a pre validated questionnaire and their knowledge of the prescription analysed under five key aspects including dose, timing, duration, side effects and purpose of each drug. Data was entered using Microsoft Excel and analyzed using SPSS 22 software.

Results: The mean age of the population was 37.6, with a standard deviation of 12.4. A good overall knowledge of the prescription was present only in 12.4% patients. In 52% of patients, the level of knowledge ranged from ‘no knowledge to little knowledge’. Age and literacy had statistically significant associations with overall knowledge of prescription.

Conclusions: There is a significant gap in prescription knowledge in the study population. Age and literacy of the patient has an effect on prescription knowledge.


Prescription knowledge, Treatment compliance, Medication adherence

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