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Theoretical Exploration of Tennessee Community Pharmacists' Perceptions Regarding Opioid Pain Reliever Abuse Communication
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
  • Nicholas E. Hagemeier, East Tennessee State University
  • Matthew M. Murawski, Purdue University
  • Nicolas C. Lopez, East Tennessee State University
  • Arsham Alamian, East Tennessee State University
  • Robert P Pack, East Tennessee State University
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Background: Community pharmacists are a key intervention point in efforts to prevent and mitigate the impact of prescription drug abuse and misuse (PDA/M); yet pharmacists' perceptions regarding PDA/M have been explored only briefly in the literature. Objectives: 1) To explore Tennessee community pharmacists' perceptions regarding opioid pain reliever (OPR) prescribing, dispensing and abuse; 2) to explore community pharmacists' self-efficacy beliefs regarding PDA/M-specific communication; and 3) to evaluate perceived barriers to engaging patients in PDA/M-specific communication. Methods: A 55-item survey instrument was developed using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TpB) as a theoretical framework. Questionnaires were mailed to a stratified sample of 2000 licensed Tennessee pharmacists using the Tailored Design Method of survey administration during October and November, 2012. Results: A response rate of 40% was obtained. A majority of pharmacists (87.5%) perceived OPR abuse to be a problem in their practice settings. On average, a little more than half (53%) of prescriptions issued for OPRs were estimated to be for patients with one or more legitimate medical reasons justifying the medication(s). A small fraction of pharmacists (13%) reported having addiction treatment facility information in their practice settings, and only a small percent reported strong self-efficacy beliefs regarding PDA/M patient communication. Job-related time constraints were perceived as the primary barrier to engaging in PDA/M communication. Conclusions: Community pharmacists in Tennessee are aware of PDA/M by patients receiving opioid prescriptions and value their role in communicating with these patients but indicate their ability to do so effectively is hindered by a lack of confidence, training, and time. Further research to identify and test methods for facilitating PDA/M communication by pharmacists is indicated.

Citation Information
Nicholas E. Hagemeier, Matthew M. Murawski, Nicolas C. Lopez, Arsham Alamian, et al.. "Theoretical Exploration of Tennessee Community Pharmacists' Perceptions Regarding Opioid Pain Reliever Abuse Communication" Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy Vol. 10 Iss. 3 (2014) p. 562 - 575 ISSN: 1551-7411
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