Cross-sectional survey of community pharmacists' views of the electronic Minor Ailment Service in Scotland

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Colleges, School and Institutes


OBJECTIVES: The aim was to investigate community pharmacists' views on the implementation of the electronic Minor Ailment Service (e-MAS) in Scottish community pharmacies and to quantify the barriers and facilitators to service provision.

METHODS: A postal cross-sectional survey of all community pharmacies in Scotland (n = 1138) was conducted. A combination of open, closed and Likert-type questions were used.

KEY FINDINGS: A response rate of 49.5% was achieved. A majority of respondents (over 84%) ranked their level of implementation of e-MAS as 4 or 5 on the five-point scale where point 1 represented 'not at all' and 5 represented 'very high'. A majority also identified opportunities to extend professional roles (83.3%), opportunities for more effective patient treatment (78.5%), opportunities to better meet patient expectations (74.4%) and financial advantage to their pharmacy (52.6%) as benefits of e-MAS. Suspected misuse/overuse of the service by some customers (75.1%) and time required for recording each consultation or supply (61.3%) were two barriers agreed upon by the majority of the respondents.

CONCLUSIONS: A majority of respondents had positive views towards e-MAS. The benefits agreed upon by the majority of the respondents relate to known facilitators of community pharmacy practice change. Major barriers, namely suspected misuse of the service by some customers and timely process for recording consultation or supply, could affect pharmacists' efficiency in service delivery and need to be addressed. These results could inform similar schemes that may be introduced locally in the UK or elsewhere.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Adult, Aged, Attitude of Health Personnel, Capitation Fee, Community Pharmacy Services, Cross-Sectional Studies, Delivery of Health Care, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Patient Education as Topic, Pharmacists, Scotland, Surveys and Questionnaires, Time Factors, Journal Article