Australian community pharmacists’ awareness and practice in supporting secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease
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Background: Pharmacists are well placed to identify, prevent and resolve medicine related problems as well as monitor the effectiveness of treatments in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Pharmacists’ interventions in CVD secondary prevention have been shown to improve outcomes for clients with established CVD. Objective: To explore the scope of pharmacists’ activities in supporting CVD secondary prevention. Setting: Community pharmacies in New South Wales, Australia. Methods: Twenty-one in-depth, semi-structured interviews with a range of community pharmacists were conducted. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed ad verbatim. Data were analyzed using a ‘grounded-theory’ approach by applying methods of constant comparison. Main outcome measure: Community pharmacists’ awareness and current practice in supporting secondary prevention of CVD. Results: Four key themes identified included ‘awareness’, ‘patient counselling’, ‘patient monitoring’, and ‘perceptions of the role of pharmacists in CVD secondary prevention’. The pharmacists demonstrated a moderate understanding of CVD secondary prevention. There was considerable variability in the scope of practice among the participants, ranging from counselling only about medicines to providing continuity of care. A minority of pharmacists who had negative beliefs about their roles in CVD secondary prevention offered limited support to their clients. The majority of pharmacists, however, believed that they have an important role to play in supporting clients with established CVD. Conclusion: Community pharmacists in Australia make a contribution to the care of clients with established CVD despite the gap in their knowledge and understanding of CVD secondary prevention. The scope of practice in CVD secondary prevention ranged from only counselling about medicines to offering continuity of care. The extent of pharmacists’ involvement in offering disease management appears to be influenced by their beliefs regarding what is required within their scope of practice.
KeywordsAustralia Awareness Cardiovascular disease Community pharmacist Medication management Secondary prevention
The researchers wish to thank the NSW community pharmacists for participating in the study.
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest to report.
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