Objective: This study highlights the barriers to patient counseling in hospital and retail pharmacy at Eastern region of Saudi Arabia. Experimental section: A cross sectional method using a cluster sampling technique among pharmacists working in retail and hospital pharmacies in Eastern region of Saudi Arabia, was used in the study. The responses gathered were analyzed using Statistical package for Social sciences software (SPSS v 22). Results: A response rate of 88.4% was observed. The pharmacists in retail pharmacies counseled mostly acute ill patients for over the counter medications whereas hospital pharmacists mostly counseled chronic ill patients for prescription only medications. Regarding frequency of counseling, retail pharmacist counseled the patients most of the times (90%) whereas hospital pharmacists counseled with a frequency of sometimes (50%). The most common barriers observed during patient counseling were; lack of education and privacy along with impatient behavior of patients as reported by retail pharmacists and time constraints of pharmacists along with gender difference as reported by hospital pharmacists. Conclusion: Despite advancement in the health fields along with more expanded clinical role of pharmacists, some serious barriers still exists on behalf of pharmacists as well as organization structure.
Key words: Barriers, Counseling, Hospital pharmacists, Patients, Petail pharmacist.