Exploring patients' perspectives of pharmacist supplementary prescribing in Scotland

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to explore patients' perspectives and experiences of pharmacist supplementary prescribing (SP) in Scotland.

Method

A survey in primary and secondary care in Scotland. Pharmacist supplementary prescribers (n = 10) were purposively selected across Scotland. All pharmacists distributed questionnaires to 20 consecutive patients as they attended appointments during October to December 2006. Reminders were mailed to all 20 patients by each pharmacist 2 weeks after initial distribution.

Main outcome measures

The questionnaire contained items on: attitudes towards pharmacist SP derived from earlier qualitative research; consultation satisfaction derived from a validated scale developed initially for general practitioners, with the term ‘doctor’ being replaced by ‘pharmacist prescriber’; and demographics. Closed and Likert scales were used as response options.

Results

One pharmacist withdrew. The patient response rate was 57.2% (103/180). The median age was 67 years (interquartile range 56.5–73 years), with 53.4% being female. Most (76, 73.8%) consulted with the pharmacist in a general practice setting. Patients reported positive consultation experiences with 89.3% agreeing/strongly agreeing that they were satisfied with the consultation, 78.7% thought the pharmacist told them everything about their treatment and 72.9% felt the pharmacist was interested in them as a person. Most patients were positive in their attitudes, agreeing that they would recommend a pharmacist prescriber to others and that they had trust in the pharmacist. However, 65% would prefer to consult a doctor.

Conclusion

Most patient respondents were satisfied with, and had a positive attitude towards, pharmacist prescribing consultations. However, most patients would still elect to see a doctor given the choice.

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