Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment in Australian Community Pharmacy
Mc Namara, KP and Peterson, GM and Hughes, J and Krass, I and Versace, V and Clark, RA and Dunbar, J, Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment in Australian Community Pharmacy, Heart Lung and Circulation, 26, (7) pp. 667-676. ISSN 1443-9506 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Background Population screening and monitoring of cardiovascular risk is suboptimal in Australian primary care. The
role of community pharmacy has increased considerably, but without any policy framework for development.
The aim of this study was to explore the nature of community pharmacy-based screening models in
Australia, capacity to increase delivery of pharmacy screening, and barriers and enablers to increasing
Methods An online survey weblink was emailed to pharmacy managers at every quality-accredited pharmacy in
Australia by the Quality Pharmacy Care Program. The 122-item survey explored the nature of screening
services, pharmacy capacity to deliver services, and barriers and enablers to service delivery in considerable
detail. Adaptive questioning was used extensively to reduce the participant burden. Pharmacy location
details were requested to facilitate geo-coding and removal of duplicate entries. A descriptive analysis of
responses was undertaken.
Results There were 294 valid responses from 4890 emails, a 6% response rate. Most pharmacies (79%) had private
counselling areas. Blood pressure assessment was nearly universal (96%), but other common risk factor
assessments were offered by a minority. Most did not charge for assessments, and 59% indicated capacity to
provide multiple risk factor assessments. Fewer than one in five (19%) reported any formal arrangements
with general practice for care coordination. Financial viability was perceived as a key barrier to service
expansion, amid concerns of patient willingness to pay. Support from government and non-governmental
organisations for their role was seen as necessary.
Conclusion There appears to be a critical mass of pharmacies engaging in evidence-based and professional services.
Considerable additional support appears required to optimise performance across the profession.
Community screening, Absolute risk, Disease prevention, Primary care, Community pharmacy