Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 149–153 | Cite as

Developing and evaluating training for community pharmacists to deliver interventions on alcohol issues

  • Niamh Fitzgerald
  • Hazel Watson
  • Dorothy McCaig
  • Derek StewartEmail author
Short Research Report


Objective To evaluate community pharmacists’ readiness to provide brief interventions on alcohol and to use study findings to develop training to enable them to screen for hazardous or harmful drinking and intervene appropriately. Setting Community pharmacies in Scotland. Method Eight community pharmacies in Greater Glasgow, Scotland were purposively selected on the basis of pharmacy (independent, multiple), population deprivation index, location (rural, urban, suburban), and local level of hospital admissions for alcohol misuse. Baseline pharmacist telephone interviews covered: current practice; attitudes towards a proactive role; and perceived training needs. A two-day course was designed focusing on: consequences of problem alcohol use; attitudes; sensible drinking; familiarity with client screening using the Fast Alcohol Screening Tool; brief interventions and motivational interviewing. Main Outcome Measures Knowledge of problem alcohol use and brief interventions; attitudes; competence. Results Participants felt it was feasible for trained pharmacists to provide brief interventions. Core training needs centred on communication and alcohol related knowledge. The training course was positively evaluated and led to increases in knowledge, attitudinal scores and self related competence. Conclusion A training programme for pharmacists to deliver brief interventions to problem drinkers was successfully delivered resulting in enhanced knowledge, attitudinal scores and self related competence.


Alcohol Competencies Education Evaluation Pharmacy Scotland 



Thanks to all study participants and the following for their contribution: each of the participating pharmacists; Scott Bryson (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde); Joyce Craig (AERC); Julie Dowds (Create Consultancy); Professor Nick Heather (Northumbria University); Professor Ray Hodgeson (AERC); Dr Eileen Kaner (University of Newcastle upon Tyne); Kathryn McGrory (Centre for Population Health); David Thomson (NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde); Joanne Winterbottom (Glasgow Council on Alcohol); and NHS Greater Glasgow Audit Facilitators.

Conflicts of interest



We wish to thank the Alcohol Education and Research Council (AERC) for funding this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niamh Fitzgerald
    • 1
  • Hazel Watson
    • 2
  • Dorothy McCaig
    • 3
  • Derek Stewart
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Director, Create Consultancy, Glasgow, G51 3BA, Scotland/Senior Research Fellow, School of PharmacyThe Robert Gordon UniversityAberdeenScotland, UK
  2. 2.School of Nursing, Midwifery and Community HealthGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowScotland, UK
  3. 3.School of PharmacyThe Robert Gordon UniversityAberdeenScotland, UK

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