Home > Community pharmacists' role in benzodiazepine supply in Ireland: a questionnaire of pharmacists' views and experiences.

Cadogan, Cathal A and Ryder, Sheila A (2015) Community pharmacists' role in benzodiazepine supply in Ireland: a questionnaire of pharmacists' views and experiences. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice , 23 , (6) , pp. 415-422.

To investigate the views and experiences of community pharmacists in Ireland regarding their role in benzodiazepine supply and the potential for role expansion.

A postal questionnaire was issued to a random, geographically stratified sample of community pharmacies in Ireland.

The response rate was 37.6%. Pharmacists' awareness of the national source of benzodiazepine guidelines was low (26.6% previously aware). Benzodiazepine prescriptions were frequently encountered in practice and commonly for extended durations of 28 days. Pharmacists' involvement in roles extending beyond dispensing was limited. In the 6 months prior to the questionnaire, fewer than half of pharmacists reported having suggested discontinuation to a patient (43.7%) or having contacted a prescriber about a patient's benzodiazepine use (47.1%). Pharmacists acknowledged their potential to undertake a more extensive role in benzodiazepine supply and expressed willingness to do so in practice.

This study adds to the limited body of existing literature regarding community pharmacists' role in benzodiazepine supply. The findings indicate the need to revisit existing benzodiazepine guidelines to improve pharmacists' awareness of them and to address long-term prescribing. The apparent lack of active pharmacist involvement in roles and activities extending beyond dispensing needs to be addressed. Given that most pharmacists encountered benzodiazepine prescriptions at least once daily in practice, they are well positioned to promote safe and appropriate benzodiazepine use. Sizeable proportions of pharmacists expressed willingness to expand upon their existing role and facilitate long-term patients in attempting discontinuation. Further research is needed to explore barriers and facilitators to pharmacists undertaking extended roles in benzodiazepine supply in greater detail.

Item Type:Article
Page Range:pp. 415-422
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Related URLs:
Subjects:B Substances > Sedatives or tranquillisers (CNS depressants) > Benzodiazepine
E Concepts in biomedical areas > Substance by legal status > Prescription drug (medicine / medication)
L Social psychology and related concepts > Physical context or place
T Demographic characteristics > Pharmacist
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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