In order to produce results that are reliable and comparable across studies, the indicators should be measured in a standardized way. Many studies which have examined aspects of drug use have differed in their definitions of the measures used, the procedures for sampling health facilities and encounters, or the way results were reported. This manual describes standard methods for all aspects of a study with indicators in order to encourage consistency and reproducibility of results.
The following list describes the sequence of steps needed to carry out a basic cross-sectional drug use study using indicators. For each step, a reference is given to the sections of this manual where the activity is described in more detail.
• Specify study objectives (Introduction, Chapter 1)
• Develop methods for measuring indicators (Chapter 2)
• Select a sample of health facilities (Chapter 3, Annex 1)
• Decide on the type of prescribing data to sample (Chapter 3)
• Recruit and train data collectors (Chapter 4)
• Field test the methods (Chapter 4)
• Implement field work (Chapter 4, Annex 1)
• Code and record data for indicators (Chapter 4, Annex 2)
• Prepare summary tables and graphics (Chapter 5, Annex 3)
• Report to participating facilities and authorities (Chapter 5)
• Follow up (Chapter 6)