The first study exploring pharmacist's perceptions about their role in CVD prevention in Cyprus

Peletidi, Aliki ; Charalambous, Pericles ; Papavramidis, Panagiotis ; Petrou, Christos ; Manesis, Nikolaos (2018-06)


Statement of the Problem: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main killer, associated with 31% of all deaths in 2015 worldwide. In Cyprus, the mortality caused by CVD reached 38% in the same year. Specifically, in women CVD caused 52% of deaths and in men 55.4%. Pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the first port of call for the general public. Therefore, pharmacists can have a key position in the prevention of CVD. Interestingly, another reason why pharmacists and most specifically Cypriot pharmacists could play a vital role in CVD prevention is the fact that there are 55.59% pharmacies per 100.000 inhabitants. The aforementioned classifies Cyprus as the second country among Europe which has this amount of pharmacies based on the PGEU report 2015. Our study aimed to explore the existing and the possible future role of Cypriots pharmacists in CVD prevention but also to identify any barriers that pharmacists may have as well as to detect their needs for their future role and their preferences of delivering public health services. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: This study used qualitative research methods utilizing semi-structured interviews with Cypriot pharmacists from the two largest cities, Nicosia and Limassol. Purposive sampling was used, with pharmacists randomly selected through a table of random numbers. The sample size was not predetermined and interviews were continued until data saturation was reached. The total number of interviews conducted was 15. The interview schedule was comprised of 27 open-ended questions including demographic information. The first section of the interview dealt with the primary prevention of CVD, the second contained general questions about the role of the pharmacist in the prevention of CVD and finally the third part included the demographic information. Prior to the data analysis interviews were transcribed verbatim and translated into English. Results: The analysis of the data was conducted using thematic analysis process. Four themes were arising: (1) pharmacist's perceptions about their role, (2) pharmacist's knowledge and education, (3) pharmacist's communication and relationship and (4) barriers. Pharmacists are keen to initiate and deliver public health services with the majority stating that pharmacy-led hypertension screening service should be the first one. Furthermore, an interesting point was that pharmacists expressed the need for a structured approach through the Cypriot Pharmaceutical Association and the Department of Health. Conclusion & Significance: This is the first study exploring Cypriot pharmacist's views on their role in CVD prevention. Pharmacists have the potential to actively participate in CVD prevention. They expressed the need to move forward by offering public health services but also, they indicated that the Cypriot National Health System should allow them to have a more active role and to incorporate them in the primary care system with an equal role compared with other HCPs

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