Pharmacists' training, experiences and behaviours in managing homeless patients.
Gibson Smith, Kathrine Lesley
Stewart, Derek C.
MetadataShow full item record
PAUDYAL, V., GIBSON SMITH, K., MACLURE, K., FORBES-MCKAY, K., BUCHANAN, C., WILSON, L., RADLEY, A. and STEWART, D. 2017. pharmacists' training, experiences and behaviours in managing homeless patients. Presented at the 46th European Society of Clinical Pharmacy symposium (ESCP): clinical pharmacy science meets practice - towards evidence-based clinical pharmacy services, 9-11 October 2017, Heidelberg, Germany.
Background and Objective: Community pharmacists are well situated to offer proactive and opportunistic support and advice to the homeless. The aim of this research was to investigate pharmacists' training, experiences and behaviours in managing homeless patients. Setting and Method: A questionnaire was developed based on existing literature, researcher expertise and the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) (1). The TDF, a synthesis of behaviour change theory, outlines 14 individual domains perceived to influence behaviour (including knowledge, skills, beliefs about capabilities and social influences). Both open and closed questions were used. The questionnaire was reviewed for face and content validity and piloted with 50 pharmacists. The questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 1951 community pharmacies in England and Scotland addressed to the 'responsible pharmacist'. Two reminders were sent. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. NHS RandD approvals were obtained. Main outcome measures: Pharmacists' training, experiences and behaviours in managing homeless patients. Results: Three-hundred-and-twenty-one responses (response rate 16.5%) were received. The mean (SD) age of respondents was 39 (12) years with a third (n=94, 29.3%) qualified as a pharmacist <5 years. Many respondents (n = 187) reported having managed a homeless patient in their pharmacy with approximately 17% (n=53) daily. The majority (n=242, 75.4%) of participants disclosed that homelessness was not included in their under/postgraduate or continuous professional development (CPD) pharmacy training (n=225, 70.1%). Only a third (n=100, 31.1%) strongly agreed/agreed that they knew where to refer a homeless patient to for social support. Approximately 42% (n=137) indicated they would only discuss homelessness if raised by patients. Only a fifth (n=71, 22.1%) felt comfortable advising homeless patients on how to minimise the impact of homelessness on their medication use, reporting a lack of clear guidelines (n=294, 94.2%). Conclusion: The results of this study suggest lack of appropriate training opportunities, on managing homeless patients, for pharmacists at under/postgraduate and CPD level. There is a need to develop guidelines in enabling community pharmacists to support homeless patients in alleviating the impact of homelessness, including pharmacist's role in supporting medicines management and signposting to social services.