Patient awareness of specialized diabetes services provided in community pharmacies

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Abstract

Background

Community pharmacists are increasingly seeking advanced certification in various clinical areas, including diabetes. However, it is unclear as to how much patients are aware of this advanced training and how they would like specialized services to be provided.

Objectives

To discern patients’ level of awareness and understanding of the Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) designation, the level of support for CDE pharmacists’ services, and if the CDE designation would have any influence on patronage patterns.

Methods

A convenience sample of people with diabetes was asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire at 1 of 10 community pharmacies. Questionnaires were completed and returned in a self-addressed envelope. Descriptive statistics were performed, followed by post hoc analysis including principal component analysis to evidence questionnaire validity and discern latent attitudinal structure.

Results

There were 121 completed questionnaires returned (37.1% response rate). Fifty-four percent of respondents reported knowing of the CDE designation, whereas 82% were unaware that pharmacists could become a CDE. On learning of a CDE pharmacist in their community, 59% would likely schedule an appointment, whereas 27% would schedule an appointment if a fee was charged. The 2 constructs emerging from analysis were the patient/pharmacist relationship and pharmacist as CDE. Those who reported a relationship with their pharmacist were more likely to discuss their diabetes with a CDE pharmacist and schedule an appointment if a fee was charged. Respondents who reported a high level of importance of pharmacists as CDEs felt that a CDE pharmacist improves the image of the pharmacy.

Conclusions

There appears to be little awareness that pharmacists may become CDEs. The patient-pharmacist relationship and whether a fee is being charged influence whether respondents’ would see a CDE pharmacist. Many indicated that they would be willing to see a CDE pharmacist if they knew one was available, yet it may not be a big enough factor to influence where their prescriptions are filled.

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