Dolors Navarro discusses the survey carried out as part of a patient study presented at Infarma
"80% of patients would like to have access to hospital drugs at their community pharmacy". This is one of the findings from the patient study presented at Infarma and organised by the Barcelona and Madrid Pharmacists' Associations through the Spanish Patients' Forum. "The purpose of the study was to find out how this sector of the population feels about the services offered by pharmaceutical professionals and, in turn, obtain indicators about what is really expected of pharmacies", explained Jordi de Dalmases, president of the Barcelona Pharmacists' Association.
The study was divided into two parts in order to take a deeper look at certain aspects: a quantitative section, which consisted of an online survey taken by 433 individuals, and a qualitative section, developed on the basis of two focus groups representing 9 patients' associations.
Another interesting finding from the online survey presented by Dolors Navarro, director of the Albert J. Jovell Institute for Public Health and Patients and head of Epidemiology and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at UIC Barcelona, is that 64% of those surveyed claim to have a favourite pharmacy and that 20% almost always frequent the same establishment.
In terms of importance, the services received scores of between 3.3 and 4.1 (out of 5). The most highly rated services included the distribution of hospital drugs at pharmacies, pharmacotherapeutic and early-detection services for conditions such as colon cancer, HIV or cardiovascular risk and the measurement of biomedical parameters.
On the other hand, the survey showed that patients view pharmacists as the main source of information on the availability of these services and that they are, after doctors, the professional they trust most for questions about medication and health.
They also stressed the importance of collaboration between health professionals: 69.7% of patients are in favour of cooperation between pharmacists and their primary care doctor or referring nurse.
As regards the findings from the focus groups, Navarro explained that, in addition to the services currently offered by pharmacies, there is also an interest in services such as medication follow-ups via telephone or the creation of pharmacies specialising in particular services or pathologies. They also felt there should be more adapted spaces in order to heighten privacy between patients and pharmacists.
They also share the view of pharmacists as experts on medication; define pharmacies as a gateway for people without pathologies, and therefore a potential place for preventive health; and firmly believe that pharmacists should be in contact with other healthcare professionals.
During the event, the vice-president of the Spanish Patients' Forum, Santiago Alfonso, asserted that "pharmacists need to be close to patients and not just dispense medication, but also support treatment adherence." Alfonso went on to state that, "the study clearly shows that patients trust their pharmacists, and not just now, but since the beginning of pharmacy."