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Patient Experiences With Handling of Analgesic Transdermal Patches and Challenges in Correct Drug Administration

A Pilot Study on Patient Education

Lampert, Anette*†; Kessler, Jens, MD; Washington-Dorando, Phoebe, MD; Bardenheuer, Hubert J., MD; Bocek Eknes, Emilia M., MSc*†; Krisam, Johannes, MSc§; Haefeli, Walter E., MD*†; Seidling, Hanna M.*†

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000538
Original Articles

Background Although problems during transdermal patch administration are primarily caused by insufficient knowledge, patient education programs are lacking. We compared patient education by a clinical pharmacist on knowledge on correct patch administration with routine counseling during patient-physician consultation in a pilot study.

Methods After baseline assessment of knowledge and difficulties with patch administration, patients in the outpatient pain clinic of Heidelberg University Hospital were allocated to intervention (n = 12) or control group (n = 11). In both groups, identical information leaflets on transdermal patch use were dispensed. Intervention patients additionally received verbal counseling on correct patch administration by a clinical pharmacist. After 4 weeks, patients were called for a follow-up assessment on knowledge and perspective on administration difficulties.

Results Patients reported several difficulties with transdermal patch administration, such as local skin reaction, difficulties with opening the packaging, and poor adhesion. Although patient education increased the ratio of correct answers in the intervention group twice as much than in the control group, overall knowledge was comparable between groups after education (P = 0.602).

Conclusions Patients encountered numerous problems with transdermal patch administration although on long-term use. Patient education can improve knowledge on correct patch administration. However, the pilot study demonstrated the need for further efforts to improve ease of use of transdermal patch, such as patch adhesion.

From the *Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, Heidelberg University;

Cooperation Unit Clinical Pharmacy, Heidelberg University;

Centre of Pain Therapy and Palliative Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Heidelberg University; and

§Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany.

Correspondence: Hanna M. Seidling, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, Cooperation Unit Clinical Pharmacy, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany (e-mail:

The authors disclose no conflict of interest.

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