The use of a written assessment checklist for the provision of emergency contraception via community pharmacies: a simulated patient study
Background: The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia recommends use of a written assessment checklist prior to supply of emergency contraception by pharmacists.
Objective: The aim of this research was to determine the prevalence of use of a written assessment checklist by community pharmacists and secondly, to ascertain the effect of the checklist on appropriate assessment and supply.
Methods: Three female simulated patients visited 100 randomly selected pharmacies requesting supply of ‘the morning after pill’. Information provided when assessed by the pharmacist was that she had missed one inactive pill of her regular hormonal contraception. The amount of assessment provided and the appropriateness of supply were used as comparative outcome measures.
Results: Eighty-three pharmacies used a written assessment checklist. Twenty-four of the pharmacies visited provided the appropriate outcome of non-supply. Pharmacies that used a written assessment checklist provided a greater quantity and consistency of assessment (11.3 ±2.5 v. 6.5 ±3.8 questions, p<0.0001) but this did not result in an improved frequency of an appropriate outcome (20%, n=16 v. 23%, n=3).
Conclusions: While a written patient assessment checklist improved the quantity and consistency of patient assessment, it did not improve the advice provided by community pharmacies when handling requests for emergency contraception.
2. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Supply of levonorgestrel as a Pharmacist Only Medicine for emergency contraception (EC). Canberra: The Society; 2005.
3. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Emergency contraception (EC) checklist. Canberra: The Society; 2010.
4. Soon JA, Levine M, Osmond BL, Ensom MH, Fielding DW. Provision of emergency contraceptives by pharmacists. Can Pharm J. 2004;137(6):23-29.
5. Arnet I, Frey Tirri B, Zemp Stutz E, Bitzer J, Hersberger KE. Emergency hormonal contraception in Switzerland: A comparison of the user profile before and three years after deregulation. Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2009;14(5):349-356. doi: 10.3109/13625180903147765
6. Schneider CR, Everett AW, Geelhoed E, Kendall PA, Clifford RM. Measuring the assessment and counselling provided with the supply of non-prescription asthma reliever medication: a simulated patient study. Ann Pharmacother. 2009;43(9):1512-1518. doi: 10.1345/aph.1M086
7. Queddeng K, Chaar B, Williams K. Emergency contraception in Australian community pharmacies: A simulated patient study. Contraception. 2011;83(2):176-182. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2010.07.011
8. Svarstad BL, Bultman DC, Mount JK. Patient counseling provided in community pharmacies: Effects of state regulation, pharmacist age, and busyness. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2004;44(1):22-29.
9. Schneider CR, Everett AW, Geelhoed E, Kendall PA, Murray K, Garnett P, Salama M, Clifford RM. Provision of primary care to patients with chronic cough in the community pharmacy setting. Ann Pharmacother. 2011;45(3):402-408. doi: 10.1345/aph.1P514
10. Higgins SJ, Hattingh HL. Requests for emergency contraception in community pharmacy: An evaluation of services provided to mystery patients. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2013;9(1):114-119. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2012.03.004
11. Watson MC, Bond CM, Grimshaw J, Johnston M. Factors predicting the guideline compliant supply (or nonsupply) of non-prescription medicines in the community pharmacy setting. Qual Saf Health Care. 2006;15(1):53-57. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2005.014720
12. Werner JB, Benrimoj SI. Audio taping simulated patient encounters in community pharmacy to enhance the reliability of assessments. Am J Pharm Educ. 2008;72(6):136.
The authors hereby transfer, assign or otherwise convey to Pharmacy Practice (1) the right to grant permission to republish or reprint the stated material, in whole or in part, without a fee; (2) the right to print or epublish copies for free distribution or sale; and (3) the right to republish the stated material in any format (electronic or printed). In addition, the undersigned affirms that the article described above has not previously been published, in whole or part, is not subject to copyright or other rights except by the author(s), and has not been submitted for publication elsewhere, except as communicated in writing to Pharmacy Practice with this document.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC-ND) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Author Self-Archiving Policy
Pharmacy Practice permits and encourages authors to post and archive the final PDFs of their respective articles submitted to the journal on personal websites or institutional repositories after publication, while providing bibliographic details that credit its publication in this journal.