Describing the role of Australian community pharmacists in oral healthcare

Taing, Meng-Wong, Ford, Pauline J., Gartner, Coral E. and Freeman, Christopher R. (2016) Describing the role of Australian community pharmacists in oral healthcare. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 24 4: 237-246. doi:10.1111/ijpp.12241

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Author Taing, Meng-Wong
Ford, Pauline J.
Gartner, Coral E.
Freeman, Christopher R.
Title Describing the role of Australian community pharmacists in oral healthcare
Journal name International Journal of Pharmacy Practice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2042-7174
Publication date 2016-01-25
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ijpp.12241
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 24
Issue 4
Start page 237
End page 246
Total pages 10
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To investigate community pharmacist's attitudes, beliefs and practices towards oral health in the Australian setting, describe the frequency and nature of consumer enquiries relating to oral health, and gain insight regarding smoking cessation support for people experiencing oral health problems.

An online questionnaire was developed based on previous research, validated to ensure accuracy and reliability, and convenience sampling used to advertise across major pharmacy organisational websites and newsletters to maximise community pharmacist responses.

Key findings
One hundred and forty-four valid community pharmacist responses were descriptively analysed. The majority of pharmacists (93%) believed it was their role to deliver oral health advice in the community and almost all (97%) pharmacists believed further education would benefit their practice. The top four consumer enquiries pharmacists reported confidence in handling related to analgesic medication to relieve oral-related pain (95.8%), mouth ulcers (95.1%), oral thrush (94.4%) and toothache (93.8%); and the most frequently reported consumer enquires were those where the majority of pharmacists reported high confidence in handling. A small proportion of pharmacists (8%) always enquired about patient smoking status, and nearly all pharmacists (97%) desired further education and training to benefit their practice in oral healthcare.

This study highlights that Australian pharmacists have an important role in oral health and there is opportunity to enhance this role, and address risk factors such as smoking with further training, support and education. The findings from this study can guide future research into the development of appropriate training programmes, standards, and best oral healthcare practices for Australian pharmacists.
Keyword Community pharmacist
Extended/enhanced roles
Oral healthcare
Primary care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 27 Jan 2016, 07:56:01 EST by Mr Meng-wong Taing on behalf of School of Pharmacy