Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Women's Health Promotion within a Community Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Women's Health Promotion within a Community Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience

Article excerpt

Objective. To establish low-cost easily conducted health promotion interventions for advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) students in community pharmacy settings that would increase women's awareness about health issues using Food and Drug Administration (FDA) educational materials.

Methods. Students distributed fact sheets on medication use, heart disease, and diabetes to women over 45 years of age at 6 community pharmacy APPE sites. Interventions completed were either personal medication records (PMR) to identify medication-related problems (MRP) or heart health screenings followed by completion of an anonymous patient satisfaction survey instrument.

Results. Over 1500 fact sheets were distributed. Fifty-eight women (age 61 [+ or -] 15 years) completed PMRs, which identified 57 MRPs in 42 patients. Twenty-four women indicated the screening was "useful/very useful" for increasing medication understanding. Sixty-three women completed heart health screenings. Thirty-one of the 40 who completed the survey instrument indicated the screening was "useful/very useful" for learning heart disease risk.

Conclusions. Community pharmacy APPE students interventions identified MRPs and patients at risk for heart disease. These health promotion interventions enhanced women's awareness of these topics while guiding students to achieve the desired curricular outcomes.

Keywords: community pharmacy, wellness, advanced pharmacy practice experience, women's health


Advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) should provide students with opportunities to develop their ability to promote health improvement, wellness, and disease prevention. (1) Albany College of Pharmacy had developed a required community pharmacy APPE based upon the 1998 Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE) outcomes document. (2,3) The revised CAPE outcomes identified a need to include structured opportunities for community pharmacy APPE students to participate in the provision of public health. (4) Since community pharmacists are readily accessible health care providers, they are uniquely able to provide health information to and screening opportunities for large numbers of individuals. Thus, community pharmacy APPEs provide an ideal setting in which to engage students in wellness promotion activities that benefit the students, preceptors, sites, and patients involved. Targeted areas for pharmacists to be involved in achieving the public health goals outlined in Healthy People 2010 include hypertension, diabetes, asthma, patient education, smoking cessation, and general medication management. (5)

Community pharmacists have demonstrated their ability to identify patients at risk and increase their awareness of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and obesity. (6-10) Although there has been demonstrated success, barriers hinder the implementation of widespread and consistent service development. With increasing student enrollment in pharmacy schools, it is a challenge to ensure that all students have the opportunity to directly engage in these activities during APPEs. A survey conducted by ACPE indicated that a low percentage of APPE students had the opportunity to engage in formal disease management programs, health screenings, and educational workshops. (10) Preceptors identified challenges to providing pharmaceutical care such as time spent on prescription third-party billing, lack of reimbursement, and high prescription volume.

Until these challenges are overcome, those services involving the first-defined level of health promotion, "health advocacy," can be offered in a less time-consuming and labor-intensive manner. (12) Advocacy-based methods include the use of educational posters, attachment of flyers to prescription bags, and review of educational material to patients at the time of dispensing and counseling. (12) This level of health promotion can be reasonably accomplished in community pharmacy APPE sites. …

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