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Community pharmacy service users' views and perceptions of alcohol screening and brief intervention


Ranjita Dhital MSc, BSc (pharmacy) MRPharmS (UK), Pharmacist and PhD student, Cate M. Whittlesea PhD, MSc Econ BSc (pharmacy) MRPharmS (UK), Senior Lecturer Pharmacy Practice, Ian J. Norman PhD, RN (UK), CQSW, FEANS, FRCN, Professor and Associate Dean, Peter Milligan MSc, Statistician. Ms Ranjita Dhital, Division of Health and Social Care Research, King's College London, Room 3.26, James Clerk Maxwell Building, 57 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8WA, UK. Tel: +44 020 7848 4796; Fax: +44 020 7701 1886; E-mail:


Introduction and Aims.Community pharmacists have the potential to deliver alcohol screening and brief interventions (SBI) to pharmacy users. However, little is known if SBI would be utilised and views of people who might use the service. Therefore, the aim was to investigate potential barriers and enablers of pharmacy SBI.

Design and Methods.Purposive sampling was used to select four pharmacies within the London borough of Westminster, UK. Semistructured interview schedule recorded participants' views of pharmacy SBI. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) was incorporated to record views of high and low-risk drinkers. Categorical data were analysed and content analysis undertaken.

Results.Of the 237 participants (149 female) approached 102 (43%) agreed to be interviewed (63 female). Of these 98 completed AUDIT-C, with 51 (52%) identified as risky drinkers. Risky drinkers were significantly identified among the younger age group (χ2 = 11.03, P = 0.004), professional occupations (χ2 = 10.41, P = 0.015), with higher qualifications (χ2 = 10.46, P = 0.033), were least frequent visitors to a pharmacy (χ2 = 11.58, P = 0.021) and more frequently identified in multiple pharmacy establishments than independents (χ2 = 8.52, P = 0.004). Most were willing to discuss drinking (97, 96%) and accept written information (99, 98%). Accessibility and anonymity were reported as positive aspects and concerns were expressed about lack of privacy and time (pharmacist and user).

Discussion and Conclusions.This study reports the first results of pharmacy users' views on SBI. Regardless of drinking status, most were willing to utilise the service and positive about pharmacists' involvement.[Dhital R, Whittlesea CM, Norman IJ, Milligan P. Community pharmacy service users' views and perceptions of alcohol screening and brief intervention. Drug Alcohol Rev 2010;29;596–602]

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