Pharmacists’ Perceived Barriers Providing Non-Dispensing Services to Underserved Populations
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Pharmacists have shown to increase clinical and humanistic outcomes in medically underserved populations through non-dispensing services. Limited information is available regarding the pharmacy workforce’s involvement and ability to serve in this role. The objectives were to measure the proportion of pharmacists working with underserved populations and to assess barriers they encountered when trying to assist. 363 licensed Ohio pharmacists responded to an electronic survey between December 2011 and March 2012 (response rate 19.7 %). The survey assessed personal and environmental barriers that prevent pharmacist involvement with underserved populations using 5-point Likert scales. Multiple logistic regressions identified barriers that influenced pharmacists’ involvement in providing non-dispensing services to underserved populations. 43 % of respondents were assisting underserved populations mostly in their place of work (83 %). Environmental barriers were indicated to effect pharmacists most. Uninvolved pharmacists most agreed with environmental barriers of “Hesitant to volunteer before knowing commitment”, “Never approached to assist”, and “Not enough time during shifts”. Logistic regression 1 incorporated all pharmacists and indicated barriers of “Not interested in this area of work” (OR = 0.589) and “Unsure where to volunteer” (OR = 0.660) as significant. Logistic regression 2 was limited to pharmacists with access to patients at place of work and indicated “Not interested in this area of work” (OR = 0.443), “Employer never approached to assist” (OR = 0.557), “No time during work shifts” (OR = 0.537), and “Work location low underserved accessibility” (OR = 0.487) as significant predictors. More pharmacists might become engaged as volunteers. Increasing communication between community and pharmacists may reduce reported volunteering barriers.