Introduction According to recent literature, the prevalence and incidence of long-term illnesses such as asthma and diabetes in young people has substantially risen over the past 13 years.1 Recent figures indicate that, in England, 4.1% of all prescriptions were prescribed for young people. More than 45 million prescriptions were dispensed for young people in 2017 by pharmacists.2
Aim The aim of this study was to investigate young people’s perspectives of the pharmaceutical services that are provided from primary care pharmacists relating to medication.
Method A cross-sectional survey using both the online and paper-based tools was conducted from March to November 2019. The population for this survey was young people from age 18 to 24 years registered as students at one of the universities in the UK. The survey consisted of twenty-four questions and they were a mix of closed-ended questions such as multiple choice and Likert scale and open-ended questions. This research gained ethical approval from the Ethics Committee of the same University (ERN_17-1672).
Results A total of 210 survey responses were returned. Most of the participants were female (62.4%). The most frequent age was 18 years (35.2%). Among participants, 15.7% were diagnosed with long-term illnesses and the majority of them (33.3%) were diagnosed with respiratory disease all of which was reported as asthma. Pharmacists were not utilised as a source of information for young people whereas the majority (60.6%) obtained information from their doctors. Most of the participants (97%) had not taken part in an MUR or NMS and 78.8% of them had never been told about any services or support groups by their pharmacist.
Discussion and Conclusion There is a lack of provision of pharmaceutical services and support by primary care pharmacists to young people with long-term illnesses. Previous evidence shows that this could be due to a lack of confidence when dealing with young people, unwillingness of pharmacists to take on more responsibilities, or a lack of training and support.3 The results would be of benefit to the policymakers to assist in the further growth of the pharmacy services. Further research will enhance understanding of the perceptions of young people about the pharmaceutical services that are offered by primary care pharmacists with respect to medications.
Shah R, Hagell A, Cheung R. Nuffield Trust, Association for Young People’s Health. International comparisons of health and wellbeing in adolescence and early adulthood. 20 Feb 2019. https://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/research/international-comparisons-ofhealth-and-wellbeing-in-adolescence-and-early-adulthood
Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community. Statistics for England 2007–2017 NHS Digital. 2018. Available online: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/prescriptions-dispensed-in-the-community/prescriptions-dispensed-in-the-community-england---2007---2017 (accessed on 11 April 2021).
Kehrer JP, Eberhart G, Wing M, Horon K. ‘Pharmacist’s role in a modern health continuum.’ Canadian Pharmacists Journal 2013;146(6):321-324.
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