Do Greek pharmacists have a role in cardiovascular disease prevention? A study to establish their views

Peletidi, Aliki, Nabhani-Gebara, Shereen and Kayyali, Reem (2016) Do Greek pharmacists have a role in cardiovascular disease prevention? A study to establish their views. In: EuroPRevent 2016; 14 - 15 Jun 2016, Sophia Antipolis, France. (Unpublished)


Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Greece accounting for 48% incidences. Greece has high prevalence of smoking (40%), obesity (20.1%) and hypertension (27.4%) among its population. Therefore, prevention of modifiable CVD risk factors is essential. Pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals and can have a role in CVD prevention. Purpose: This study aimed to explore Greek pharmacists’ views on their role in CVD prevention and the facilitators and barriers for such a role. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 pharmacists in 3 different Greek cities (Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras). The interview schedule consisted of 28 questions exploring pharmacists’ views and current and future role and services for CVD prevention. The interview schedule was ethically approved by Kingston University Ethics committee. All interviews were recorded and then transcribed. The transcripts were analysed thematically using NVivo 10 Software for Windows. Results: Three main themes were identified; role recognition, priority services and barriers. Pharmacists agreed that it is essential to initiate pharmacy-led CVD prevention services. A participant reported, "As a pharmacist, I would like the pharmacy to become a recognised primary healthcare unit and a CVD prevention centre that could give information and help to the public." The interviewees identified weight management and exercise service as the most essential, as many people visit their pharmacies in order to measure their body weight and because obesity and lack of exercise are precursors of various risk conditions such as diabetes. The barriers preventing Greek pharmacists having an active role in screening and monitoring patients with CVD risk factors were described as lack of training, lack of proper tools for identifying patients with CVD risk factors/conditions and lack of patients’ awareness and acceptance. One pharmacist mentioned, "Education and training is the most important." Another pharmacist reported, "Patients are unaware about CVD prevention and disease. This is one of the most important barriers for our role." Conclusion: This is the first study that explores the clinical role of pharmacists in CVD prevention in Greece. Pharmacists can have an important role in CVD prevention due to their accessibility to the public. The results indicate that with enhanced public awareness and effective education and training, Greek pharmacists can play a key role in CVD prevention.

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