Qualitative Exploration of the Education and Skills Needs of Community Pharmacists in Saskatoon Concerning Addiction
Community Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers in Canada. Utilizing these cadres in effectively addressing substance abuse and addiction problems would help minimize the health and socioeconomic negative outcomes associated with the disease of addiction. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to: 1) Comprehend pharmacists’ encounters with PWSAD including satisfaction, feelings, situation management, red flags, and outcome(s), 2) Identify skills and educational needs for community pharmacists concerning providing optimum services to PWSAD, 3) Define the types of educational/training programs pharmacists require to improve their services toward PWSAD, 4) Identify immediate needs to improve current services (e.g. referral guide) and inquire about possible obstacles facing community pharmacists in providing services to PWSAD. Qualitative methodology was deemed as the most appropriate method for the research purpose. To recruit study participants, a questionnaire was sent to all community pharmacists in the city of Saskatoon. The survey results also provided general understanding of community pharmacists’ perspectives about addiction. Another survey was sent to all pharmacy schools in Canada, inquiring about the main educational material concerning addiction in undergraduate curricula. The inquiry concerned with the type of educational knowledge covered including pharmacological aspects, social aspects or others. Those pharmacists selected to be interviewed where asked to comment on the education and skill needs for community pharmacists and the suitable means to address such needs. Data analysis revealed four major themes; Work Environment, Lack of Knowledge, Health System and Educational and Training Needs. Each theme represents barriers facing community pharmacists to provide optimum health care for PWSAD. It was evident for educational and training needs that the demand is to have training on the social aspects of the disease such as communication skills and inter-professional interactive learning sessions. The need to focus on the social aspects of addiction was one of the major demands, expressed by participants. This work will influence future educational plans as well as provide suggestions to improve the contemporary educational plans based on a view from the practice field. It is not surprising as the university survey also showed lack of emphasis on the social aspects of addiction within the pharmacy curricula across Canada. Based on research findings, recommendations were categorized to two main streams; recommendations at the undergraduate level and recommendations at the continuous education and practice level. It is recommended to shift the focus of addiction educational material from pharmacology and law endorsement to social issues and patient care at the undergraduate level. On the other hand, implementing inter-professional sessions as well as protocol that pharmacists can follow during their encounter with PWSAD are key recommendations at the continuous education and practice level.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPharmacy and Nutrition
CommitteeEl-aneed, Anas; Krol, Ed; Postnikoff, Lori; Dobson, Roy; Dell, Colleen
Copyright DateAugust 2015