Peiffer-Smadja, N.; Allison, R.; Jones, L.F.; Holmes, A.; Patel, P.; Lecky, D.M.; Ahmad, R.; McNulty, C.A. Preventing and Managing Urinary Tract Infections: Enhancing the Role of Community Pharmacists—A Mixed Methods Study. Antibiotics2020, 9, 583.
Peiffer-Smadja, N.; Allison, R.; Jones, L.F.; Holmes, A.; Patel, P.; Lecky, D.M.; Ahmad, R.; McNulty, C.A. Preventing and Managing Urinary Tract Infections: Enhancing the Role of Community Pharmacists—A Mixed Methods Study. Antibiotics 2020, 9, 583.
Community pharmacists are involved in antimicrobial stewardship through self-care advice and delivering medications for uncomplicated infections. Objectives This mixed methods study aimed to identify opportunities to enhance the role of community pharmacists in the management of patients with suspected or confirmed urinary tract infection (UTI). Methods Data collection was through a service user survey (n=51) and pharmacist surveys and semi-structured interviews before (16 interviews, 22 questionnaires) and after (15 interviews, 16 questionnaires) trialling UTI leaflets designed to be shared with patients. Data were analysed inductively using thematic analysis and descriptive tabulation of quantitative data. Results Twenty-five percent (n=13/51) of service users with urinary symptoms sought help from a pharmacist first and 65% (n=33/51) were comfortable discussing their urinary symptoms with a pharmacist in a private space. Community pharmacists were confident as the first professional contact for service users with uncomplicated UTI (n=13/16, 81%), but indicated the lack of a specific patient referral pathway (n=16/16, 100%), the need for additional funding and staff (n=10/16, 62%), and the importance of developing prescription options for pharmacists (5/16, 31%). All community pharmacists reported playing a daily role in controlling antimicrobial resistance by educating service users about viral and bacterial infections and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Enhancing their role will need greater integrated working with general practices and more prescribers based in community pharmacy. Conclusion This study suggests that community pharmacists could play a greater role in the management of uncomplicated UTI. The current reconfiguration of primary care in England with primary care networks and integrated care systems could provide a real opportunity for this collaborative working with potential learning for international initiatives.
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