Health professional perspectives of expanded practice in rural community pharmacy in Australia

Taylor, Selina, Cairns, Alice, and Glass, Beverley (2020) Health professional perspectives of expanded practice in rural community pharmacy in Australia. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 28 (5). pp. 458-465.

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Objectives: Expanded pharmacy service delivery for rural and remote Australia has potential to address the rural health disparity. Pharmacists practising to their full scope are recognised as being most beneficial in rural and regional communities, where access to health professionals (HPs) is not comparable to those in metropolitan areas. However, research on HP perspectives on expanded pharmacy practice is limited. This study aims to determine rural and remote HP (doctors, nurses, allied health and other HPs) perspectives of expanded services to be delivered through community pharmacy.

Methods: Australian rural and remote HPs participated in a questionnaire survey which explored views on expanded pharmacy services in their local communities. Potential expanded pharmacy services were provided, and participants were asked to indicate what expanded pharmacy would benefit their local community and their level of support for the services. Analysis of the data included frequency analyses and one-way ANOVA tests with post hoc Tukey's HSD tests using IBM SPSS Statistic 25.

Results: Health professionals (N = 121) from rural and remote locations participated. Sexually transmitted disease testing, vaccinations, diabetes and asthma management were the most frequently chosen services that HPs agreed would improve the health of people in their community. Doctors chose the least number of services (mean = 1 services) compared with all other HPs (mean => 5 services). Sixty-eight per cent of participants agreed/strongly agreed that providing these additional services would improve health, with participants (73%) agreeing/strongly agreeing that they would support the implementation of these additional services, not otherwise available in their community. Comparing professional groups, doctors were only half as supportive of expanded pharmacy services, when compared with all other HPs.

Conclusion: This study confirms the importance of a collaborative, local model to deliver expanded pharmacy services for rural communities. Health professionals were found to largely support expanding pharmacy practice, agreeing about the improved access to health care that would be provided for people living in rural and remote Australia.

Item ID: 63842
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2042-7174
Keywords: extended practice, models of care, remote, rural, scope of practice
Copyright Information: © 2020 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2020 07:31
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321499 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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