Prescription Drug Abuse: A Comparison of Prescriber and Pharmacist Perspectives

1Pharmacy Practice, Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University , Johnson City, Tennessee , USA.
Substance Use &amp Misuse (Impact Factor: 1.23). 04/2013; 48(9). DOI: 10.3109/10826084.2013.787101
Source: PubMed


This study compared perceptions of prescribers and pharmacists (N = 89) regarding multiple aspects of prescription drug abuse. Questionnaires were developed to assess perceptions regarding the prevalence of prescription drug abuse, self-perceived communication competence, and additional communication and prescription drug abuse domains. Pharmacists perceived a larger percentage of patients (41%) to be abusing opioid pain relievers as compared with their prescriber colleagues (17%). Both prescribers and pharmacists indicated improvements in prescriber-pharmacist communication would serve to deter prescription drug abuse. Self-efficacy beliefs for detecting and discussing prescription drug abuse with patients were low for both cohorts. Implications and limitations are noted. Year of data collection: 2012 Setting: Rural Appalachia Data Collection Instruments: Prescriber- and pharmacist-specific survey instruments Data Analysis Techniques: Independent samples t-test; Mann-Whitney U test.

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    ABSTRACT: Community pharmacists are a key intervention point in efforts to prevent and mitigate the impact of prescription drug abuse and misuse (PDA/M); yet pharmacists' perceptions regarding PDA/M have been explored only briefly in the literature. 1) To explore Tennessee community pharmacists' perceptions regarding opioid pain reliever (OPR) prescribing, dispensing and abuse; 2) to explore community pharmacists' self-efficacy beliefs regarding PDA/M-specific communication; and 3) to evaluate perceived barriers to engaging patients in PDA/M-specific communication. A 55-item survey instrument was developed using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TpB) as a theoretical framework. Questionnaires were mailed to a stratified sample of 2000 licensed Tennessee pharmacists using the Tailored Design Method of survey administration during October and November, 2012. A response rate of 40% was obtained. A majority of pharmacists (87.5%) perceived OPR abuse to be a problem in their practice settings. On average, a little more than half (53%) of prescriptions issued for OPRs were estimated to be for patients with one or more legitimate medical reasons justifying the medication(s). A small fraction of pharmacists (13%) reported having addiction treatment facility information in their practice settings, and only a small percent reported strong self-efficacy beliefs regarding PDA/M patient communication. Job-related time constraints were perceived as the primary barrier to engaging in PDA/M communication. Community pharmacists in Tennessee are aware of PDA/M by patients receiving opioid prescriptions and value their role in communicating with these patients but indicate their ability to do so effectively is hindered by a lack of confidence, training, and time. Further research to identify and test methods for facilitating PDA/M communication by pharmacists is indicated.
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