Exploring the prevalence of and factors associated with advice on prescription medicines: A survey of community pharmacies in an English city
Service users rely upon pharmacy staff to provide advice on prescription medicines. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of advice-giving in pharmacies located across different areas within an inner-city population. A questionnaire was administered with service users outside 29 community pharmacies in an English Midlands city between February and July 2014. The primary outcome measure was the percentage who had received information or advice when collecting a prescription medicine. A total of 1206 service users took part, of whom 49.1% were female and 50.9% were of minority ethnicity (48.8% white British). The age ranges were: 17–30 years (21.0%), 31–60 years (55.0%) and 61–80+ years (24.1%). Sixty-nine per cent of participants had collected a prescription for themselves, and the proportions of new and repeat prescriptions were 22.1% and 77.6% respectively. A subset of 141 participants had requested advice, of whom 94% confirmed that they had received it. Overall, 28.6% of 1065 participants received unsolicited information or advice. The overall prevalence of unsolicited advice-giving varied per pharmacy from 14% to 63% and for new and repeat prescriptions was 41.9% and 25.5% respectively (p < .001, new vs repeat). In areas of greater deprivation, a higher proportion of service users of minority ethnicity received unsolicited repeat prescription advice, compared to that of white British (33.0% vs 17.3% respectively; p < .001). Thus, the low incidence and contrasting patterns of prescription advice-giving suggests that the training and expertise of pharmacy staff may not always be used effectively within the UK NHS. Therefore, the current challenge is how community pharmacies can work in partnership with colleagues across the wider healthcare system when optimising the use of medicines and reducing health inequalities. The research performed here provides new insights reflecting the low prevalence of advice-giving and potential inequity associated with delivery of this pharmacy service.
This research was conducted in collaboration with the University of Leeds School of Healthcare. Open Access article
Citation : Rivers, P.H., Waterfield, J., Grootveld, M. and Raynor, D.K. (2017) Exploring the prevalence of and factors associated with advice on prescription medicines: A survey of community pharmacies in an English city. Health and Socal Care in the Community, 25 (6), pp. 1774-1786
Research Group : Pharmacy Practice
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester School of Pharmacy