ABSTRACT Objective: To define how the community pharmacist contributes to the management of heart failure by exploring the type of service he provides to patients and by assessing what patients expect from him. Setting: Pharmacists of the Franche-Comte region (France) and patients of the Franche-Comté Heart Association. Method: Two questionnaires were drawn up and sent to pharmacists and patients. Results: The 118 pharmacists participating in this survey (36.9%) felt that they had a role to play in dispensing drugs (100.0%), educating patients about their treatment (83.1%), informing patients about the importance of observance (81.4%) and over- the-counter drugs (58.5%), distributing heart failure brochures (51.7%) and providing medical equipment (44.9%). On the other hand, only a third of them thought that they should inform patients about their illness and give advice by phone. On the whole, knowledge level is good for disease, drug therapy, contraindicated drugs, medical supervision and hygieno-dietetic management, but intermediate or poor for alert signs of decompensation, essential vaccinations and patient associations. University training in this area during formal pharmacy studies is considered either “insufficient” or “very insufficient” in 56.9% of cases. Although more than 99% of the pharmacists think that additional training is needed, only 33.1% had actually benefited from such training. Of the 96 patients (48.0%) who completed the questionnaire, 92.6% are faithful to their pharmacist. They contact him more about drug therapy than about their disease, or information related to treatments. Roles attributed to their pharmacist are mainly related to drug therapy explanation and information concerning over-the-counter drugs. Therapeutic education is known to 40.6% of interrogated patients. Among these patients, two-thirds depend on their pharmacist and feel that he is capable of providing the necessary education. Moreover, 46.2% of patients had received some form of therapeutic education from their pharmacist. Pharmacists believe that they are able to assume this role in 67.8% of cases. Conclusion: In spite of biases, this study allowed us to assess the expectations of heart failure patients with regard to the pharmaceutical management of their disease, thus clarifying the indispensable contribution that pharmacists make in the management of this disease.
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