Pharmacists perceptions and attitudes towards disease screening and prevention roles including HIV point of care testing
Author(s): ,
Binh Nguyen
Pharmacy student
Chen-En Ma
Pharmacy student
Terri Schindel
Canadian Pharmacists Conference ePoster Library. Hughes C. 06/03/17; 174243; 20
Dr. Christine Hughes
Dr. Christine Hughes
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The purpose of this study is to determine pharmacists' current and ideal involvement in public health activities and explore pharmacists' perceptions and attitudes towards providing rapid HIV point of care (POC) testing.

A cross-sectional web-based survey was distributed via email to pharmacists on the Alberta College of Pharmacist's clinical register. Survey questions were developed based on the literature; face and content validity were performed. The survey remained open for 3 weeks with 2 reminder emails. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data.

A total of 141 pharmacists completed all sections of the survey (3.1% response rate). The majority of respondents were female (71%), working in community practice (79%), and licensed ≤ 10 years (54%). Pharmacists reported frequent involvement in public health activities including smoking cessation (45%), healthy eating (50%), screening for hypertension (65%) or diabetes (60%), and providing vaccinations (60%). In their ideal practice, most pharmacists reported support for increased involvement in public health activities. Approximately one-quarter of pharmacists offered POC testing in their practice; group A strep was most commonly reported. Most (72%) agreed that HIV POC testing would be a reasonable addition to the evolving role of community pharmacists and an important public health service. Nearly 50% of respondents indicated interest in providing HIV POC testing; barriers identified included lack of expertise/knowledge (89%) and lack of procedures for follow-up, confirmatory testing, and access to care (73%)

Pharmacists reported frequent involvement in public health activities and a desire to increase involvement in their ideal practice. The majority of pharmacists agreed pharmacy based HIV POC testing would be an important public health service. Development and evaluation of a model for HIV POC testing in community pharmacies as well as education and training programs will help address challenges with expanding HIV testing in pharmacy settings.

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