LISTEN UP (Locally Integrated Screening and Testing Ear aNd aUral Programme): a feasibility study protocol for a community pharmacy-based ear health intervention

Taylor, Selina Maree, Cairns, Alice, Mantzourani, Efi, and Glass, Beverley D. (2021) LISTEN UP (Locally Integrated Screening and Testing Ear aNd aUral Programme): a feasibility study protocol for a community pharmacy-based ear health intervention. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 7 (1). 124.

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Background: Ear disease is a major cause of preventable hearing loss and is very common in rural communities, estimated to affect 1.3 million Australians. Rural community pharmacists are well placed to provide improved ear health care to people who are unable to easily access a general practitioner (GP). The purpose of this study is to apply an ear health intervention to the rural community-pharmacy setting in Queensland, Australia, to improve the management of ear disease. The aims are the following: (1) to evaluate the feasibility, potential effectiveness and acceptability of a community pharmacy-based intervention for ear health, (2) to evaluate the use of otoscopy and tympanometry by pharmacists in managing ear complaints in community pharmacy and (3) to evaluate the extended role of rural pharmacists in managing ear complaints, with the potential to expand nationally to improve minor ailment management in rural communities.

Methods/design: This is a longitudinal pre- and post-test study of a community-pharmacy-based intervention with a single cohort of up to 200 patients from two rural community pharmacies. Usual care practices pertaining to the management of ear complaints will be recorded prior to the intervention for 8 weeks. The intervention will then be piloted for 6 weeks, followed by a 12 month impact study. Patients aged > 13 years presenting to the pharmacies with an ear complaint will be invited to participate. Trained pharmacists will conduct an examination including a brief history, hearing screening, otoscopy and tympanometry assessments. Patients will be referred to a general practitioner (GP) if required, according to the study protocol. Patients will complete a satisfaction survey and receive a follow-up phone call at 7 days to explore outcomes including prescribed medications and referrals. Pharmacists and GPs will complete pre- and post- intervention interviews. Patient, pharmacist and GP data will be analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis for the qualitative data.

Discussion: This study will demonstrate the implementation of a screening and referring ear health intervention in rural community pharmacy. Feasibility, potential effectiveness and acceptability of the intervention will be assessed.

Item ID: 69973
Item Type: Article (Scholarly Work)
ISSN: 2055-5784
Keywords: Community pharmacy, Ear, Pharmacy practice, Rural and remote, Scope of practice
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2021 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 00:30
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420321 Rural and remote health services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200399 Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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