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01.12.2014 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Health Services Research 1/2014

Effects of a TELephone Counselling Intervention by Pharmacist (TelCIP) on medication adherence, patient beliefs and satisfaction with information for patients starting treatment: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

BMC Health Services Research > Ausgabe 1/2014
Marcel J Kooy, Erica CG van Geffen, Eibert R Heerdink, Liset van Dijk, Marcel L Bouvy
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1472-6963-14-219) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors of this protocol disclose no financial competing interest pertinent to this study.

Authors’ contributions

MK wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MK, MB, KG and RH participated in the design of the trial and study methodology and review of the manuscript. KG, LD, MB and RH made critical revisions to the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Adherence to medication is often low. Pharmacists may improve adherence, but a one-size-fits-all approach will not work: different patients have different needs. Goal of the current study is to assess the effectiveness of a patient-tailored, telephone-based intervention by a pharmacist at the start of pharmacotherapy aimed at improving medication adherence, satisfaction with information and counselling and the beliefs about medicines.


A cluster randomized controlled intervention trial in 30 Dutch pharmacies, randomly assigned to 1 of 2 intervention groups. Each group consists of an intervention arm and an usual care arm. The intervention arm in the first group is the usual care arm in the second group and vice versa. One intervention arm focuses on patients starting with antidepressants or bisphosphonates and the other on antilipaemic drugs or renin angiotensin system (RAS)-inhibitors. The intervention consists of a telephone call by a pharmacist 2 or 3 weeks after a new prescription. A random sample of pharmacies will send questionnaires 3 months after the first prescription. This contains socio-demographic questions, a measure of beliefs about medicines (BMQ), satisfaction with information received (SIMS, abbreviated) and frequency of pharmacy counselling (Consumer Quality Index, CQI, abbreviated). The primary outcome measure will be medication adherence calculated from dispensing records retrieved 12 months after the intervention. Patients’ beliefs on medication, perception of the quality of information received and pharmacy counselling are secondary outcomes.


The TelCIP study will determine the effectiveness of telephone counselling to improve adherence in patients initiating a new treatment. By measuring satisfaction with information and counselling and beliefs about medication the study will also give clues for the reason of a potential increase in adherence. Finally the study will provide information on which patients are most likely to benefit from this intervention.

Trial registration

The trial is registered at http://​www.​trialregister.​nl under the identifier NTR3237.
Additional file 1: List of included medication. The table shows the name and ATC-code of the included medication. (PDF 27 KB)
Additional file 2: General interview protocol. The general interview protocol to be used in the counselling calls. (PDF 395 KB)
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
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