Screening for common medical conditions in community pharmacy settings/ A survey of pharmacists and patients attitudes.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Background
The prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCD) is increasing and their impact on the disease burden and healthcare economy is substantial. Many patients with CNCDs will access healthcare services in a community pharmacy setting and GPs are struggling to implement CNCD screening programs. Recently there has been a movement for pharmacy practice away from dispensing toward focus on patient care. The UK policy and pharmacists' professional bodies have emphasised the potential of community pharmaciststo extend their roles in patient care services. Nevertheless, the general public’s views are important to be understood for the successful uptake of these services. Evidence shows a generally wide satisfaction of consumers with services given by pharmacists1, but a deeper understanding of patients’ views is advocated.
In order to understand and assist the behaviour changes associated with providing health services in community pharmacy, it is also important to establish the beliefs of pharmacists regarding this role. Studies show that pharmacists’ perceive their potential role in health prevention as very significant but recognise a wide gap between ideal and actual levels of involvement2. Early identification of CNCDs and interventional methods to slow disease progression could provide tangible benefits to the UK economy.
The potential benefit to society as a whole could include a significant reduction in the NHS healthcare bill.
Aim
To identify if there is a perceived benefit in targeted risk based screening of patients in a primary
community pharmacy setting.
Method
Survey questionnaires were developed using previous literature and distributed to members of the public, pharmacists and patients attending pharmacies, in four locations across the UK (Coventry, Birmingham, London and Leicester), over a period of 4 weeks. This study was conducted to provide preliminary data to conduct a larger multicentre study. The next phase will involve a feasibility study in a community pharmacy setting; to assess the feasibility of screening for CNCDs in terms of logistics, environment, process and the impact upon the running of the pharmacy. The study had ethical approval from The University of Birmingham ethics committee. Data was analysed using SPSS 22 statistical software.
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Results
From 1559 returned general public questionnaires, 71% (n = 1106) agreed that general health problems should be screened for in community pharmacy settings. When similar questionnaires were completed by patients (533 Reponses), 78% (n = 415) agreed to have screening tests for CNCDs in a pharmacy setting.
From 120 pharmacy responses, 75% (n = 90) of pharmacists were willing to provide screening for common chronic medical conditions.
Discussion
Preliminary results highlighted the general public and pharmacist acceptance for screening CNCDs in community pharmacy. Thus, conducting a feasibility study could help identify barriers to service
development. However, if successful these results will need to be tested in a large multicentre study. Other public health initiatives have been previously tested such as healthy living pharmacies (public health related services) and health checks (cardiovascular risk assessment). However, this study is examining a wider range of CNCDs which are: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. This project is running in parallel with similar screening in a dental setting as part of collaboration with Birmingham University Dental School.
References
1. Eades CE, Ferguson JS, O’Carroll RE. Public health in community pharmacy: A systematic review of pharmacist and consumer views. BMC Public Health 2011; 11:582.
2. Laliberté M-C, Perreault S, Damestoy N. et al. Ideal and actual involvement of community pharmacists in health promotion and prevention: a cross-sectional study in Quebec, Canada. BMC 2012
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth Services Research and Pharmacy Practice Conference 2017
Place of PublicationThe University of Nottingham
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017

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