Awareness and perceptions of emergency contraception among retail pharmacists in Kuwait
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To describe the awareness and perceptions of hormonal emergency contraception (EC) among retail pharmacists.
Private retail pharmacies in Kuwait City.
A self-administered questionnaire was developed to elicit pertinent demographic information as well as awareness of and concerns about EC and administered to the senior pharmacist in 51 randomly selected private retail pharmacies.
Main outcome measure
Proportion of pharmacists aware of EC and who had recommended EC.
The respondents had a mean (SD) age of 34.2 (7.7) years; 58.8% were male, and all but one were non-Kuwaiti. The median practice experience of the pharmacists was 6 years. Oral contraceptives and male condoms were universally available in the pharmacies, but none stocked emergency contraceptives, female condoms, or diaphragms. Twenty respondents (39.2%; 95% confidence intervals 25.5–53.9%) said they were aware of EC, and 4 (7.8%) that they had ever offered EC. Nine (17.6%) respondents saw EC as offering no advantages over other contraceptive measures and effectiveness was perceived to be low. Most cited concerns were of encouraging irresponsible behaviour and women relying on EC in place of regular contraceptive measures. Religious opposition (41.2%), lack of awareness by clients (51.0%) and lack of awareness by health providers (35.3%) were seen as the most significant obstacles to provision of EC.
Knowledge of EC is poor among community pharmacists in Kuwait. Action is needed to address this deficit and to make EC more accessible to women who wish to use it.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy Contraception Cultural Emergency contraception Kuwait Pharmacists Pharmacist’s perceptions
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Conflicts of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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