Pharmacists’ perspectives of the current status of pediatric asthma management in the U.S. community pharmacy setting
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Objective To explore community pharmacists’ continuing education, counseling and communication practices, attitudes and barriers in relation to pediatric asthma management. Setting Community pharmacies in Michigan, United States. Methods Between July and September 2015 a convenience sample of community pharmacists was recruited from southeastern Michigan and asked to complete a structured, self-reported questionnaire. The questionnaire elucidated information on 4 general domains relating to pharmacists’ pediatric asthma management including: (1) guidelines and continuing education (CE); (2) counseling and medicines; (3) communication and self-management practices; (4) attitudes and barriers to practice. Regression analyses were conducted to determine predictors towards pharmacists’ confidence/frequency of use of communication/counseling strategies. Main outcome measure Confidence in counseling skills around asthma. Results 105 pharmacists completed the study questionnaire. Fifty-four percent of pharmacists reported participating in asthma related CE in the past year. Over 70% of pharmacists reported confidence in general communication skills, while a lower portion reported confidence in engaging in higher order self-management activities that involved tailoring the regimen (58%), decision-making (50%) and setting short-term (47%) and long-term goals (47%) with the patient and caregiver for managing asthma at home. Pharmacists who reported greater use of recommended communication/self-management strategies were more likely to report confidence in implementing these communication/self-management strategies when counseling caregivers and children with asthma [Beta (B) Estimate 0.58 SE (0.08), p < 0.001]. Female pharmacists [B Estimate −2.23 SE (1.01), p < 0.05] and those who reported beliefs around doctors being the sole provider of asthma education [B Estimate −1.00 SE (0.32), p < 0.01] were less likely to report confidence in implementing communication/self-management strategies. Conclusion A pharmacists’ confidence may influence their ability to implement recommended self-management counseling strategies. This study showed that community pharmacists are confident in general communication. However pharmacists are reporting lower confidence levels in counseling on higher order self-management strategies with patients. More appropriate and targeted continuing education programs for pharmacists around asthma self-management education are recommended.
KeywordsCommunication Community pharmacy Counseling practices Pediatric asthma Primary care United States
We are grateful to all of the community pharmacists who participated in this study.
This work was supported by the Askwith Fund for Asthma and Allergy Research, obtained through the Centre for Managing Chronic Diseases, University of Michigan, USA.
Conflicts of interest
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