Expanded practice in rural community pharmacy in Australia: pharmacists’ perspectives

Taylor, Selina, Cairns, Alice, and Glass, Beverley (2021) Expanded practice in rural community pharmacy in Australia: pharmacists’ perspectives. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, 51 (1). pp. 43-53.

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Background: Pharmacists internationally have successfully expanded their role to provide service delivery to remote rural communities.

Aim: This study evaluated Australian rural community pharmacists’ perspectives of expanded services, to identify priorities, areas of concern, enablers and barriers to their implementation.

Method: A self‐administered questionnaire was distributed to rural and remote Australian (all states and territories) pharmacists between September and December 2019; respondents were asked to rank health issues and the expanded pharmacy services that could potentially address these issues in their communities. Questions were also included to evaluate health service accessibility, skills/knowledge, workspace limitations, time and support for the implementation of these services. Potential associations between demographic factors and responses were also assessed.

Results: Of the 92 returned responses analysed, the top three heath concerns were: Mental health, Cardiovascular disease and Diabetes. Depression screening/referral, diabetes management and vaccinations were the top three areas rated for expanded services. There was agreement (90%; 83/92) that pharmacists had the skills and knowledge for implementation, while time and space were reported as barriers for 50% (46/92) and 25% (23/92) of pharmacists, respectively. The majority of the pharmacists (80%; 74/92) felt services were not easily accessible, and all (92/92, 100%) agreed that service provision would improve community health outcomes.

Conclusion: Rural pharmacists were supportive of the delivery of expanded pharmacy services, describing improved health outcomes and increased access to health services as potential benefits. Successful implementation of these expanded services would require both an understanding of pharmacist resources available and local community health needs.

Item ID: 64870
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2055-2335
Keywords: extended practice, scope of practice, rural and remote, models of care, service delivery
Copyright Information: © 2020 Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council
Projects and Grants: Improving Health Outcomes in the Tropical North: A multidisciplinary collaboration (Hot North), grant number 1131932
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2020 18:58
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321403 Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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