gms | German Medical Science

11. Jahrestagung 2004 der GAA

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

30.09. bis 01.10.2004, Jena

Pseudo Customer Pilot Study for evaluation from quality of counselling in community pharmacies

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker E. Würdemann - Bremen University, Centre for Social Policy, Drug Utilization Research Unit

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie (GAA) e.V.. 11. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie (GAA) e.V.. Jena, 30.09.-01.10.2004. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2004. Doc04gaa30

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 30, 2004

© 2004 Würdemann.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Pharmacists are obliged by law in advising patients on their medication. Apart from this fact, it also offers the chance to demonstrate the advantage of community over mail-order pharmacies. Pharmacists are increasingly criticised because of their counselling and therefore they want to use the Pseudo Customer Concept for continual improvement.


Participation in the Pseudo Customer Pilot Study was offered to 50 community pharmacies in the administrative district of Hanover. Participants were informed that a trained pharmacist as pseudo customer would visit their pharmacy in March or April 2004 and ask for advice on self-medication. The pseudo customer was instructed to play his role according to two scripts: (1) Request for an analgesic and (2) inappropriate use of antacids. Subsequent to the visit, counselling was evaluated on the basis of a standardised questionnaire, containing items like. information provision, communicative skills as well as information on the situation. The pseudo customer re-entered the pharmacy and offered feedback about strength and room for improvement to the participant.


49 community pharmacies in Hanover volunteered to participate in the study (1 pharmacy had withdrawn consent). Each pharmacy was visited once by a pseudo customer. There were major differences between pharmacies regarding counselling, furthermore there was a great difference in offering advice without demand between case 1 and 2 (96% vs. 29%). The overall average impression for quality of counselling in the study was 3.7 (scale 1 (very good) - 6 (inadequate)).


The pilot study has shown that the Pseudo Customer visits are well accepted by the participants and helpful to increase the quality of counselling in community pharmacies.

Funding: Apothekerkammer Niedersachsen