Patients’ perception of pharmaceutical services available in a community pharmacy among patients living in a rural area of the United Kingdom
Objective: Patients’ opinion about prevalence of pharmaceutical services available in a community pharmacy among patients living in a rural area of the United Kingdom. The secondary objective was to identify appropriate action(s) to enhance patients’ awareness of pharmaceutical services in rural areas.
Methods: A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was distributed to patients visiting a community pharmacy in Eye, Suffolk, United Kingdom between July and August, 2015. The main inclusion criterion was living in a rural area. Comparisons were performed using chi-square tests and logistic regression.
Results: The study included 103 respondents: 70 women (69.0%) and 33 men (32.0%), aged 16–85 years. Most respondents declared the primary tasks of a community pharmacy were dispensing medicines (86.4% of respondents) and repeat dispensing (72.8% of respondents). Additionally, 23.3% of respondents treated minor ailments at the pharmacy, including bacterial/viral infections, minor injuries, stomach problems, and allergies. The Medicines Use Review service was the only advanced service used in this pharmacy (12.6% of respondents), primarily by men. Younger patients were more familiar with the term of pharmaceutical care (p<0.05; OR=0.33).
Conclusions: Only a few pharmaceutical services are utilized by people living in rural areas in the UK, namely prescription dispensing, repeat dispensing, and sale of medications that support self-care for minor ailments. We found an overall poor awareness of the expanded variety of pharmaceutical services encouraged by the community pharmacy contract introduced in the UK in 2005. Therefore, politicians, pharmacists, and pharmacy experts should actively promote these advanced pharmaceutical services in rural areas.
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