We conducted a cross-sectional survey to investigate the mental health attitudes of a random sample of community pharmacists in England and Wales. This was the first study to investigate British pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental health. A peer reviewed article of the research was published in “The Journal of Public Mental Health”.
The purpose of this paper is to compare the pharmacy services provided to people taking psychotropic and cardiovascular medications and examine the association between pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental illness and provision of pharmacy services. The paper also considers pharmacists’ opinions of the pharmaceutical care needs of people with mental illness including their physical health.
A survey instrument was sent by facsimile to a random sample of community pharmacists in England and Wales.
Community pharmacists had generally positive attitudes towards mental illness but provided significantly fewer pharmacy services (and were less comfortable providing them) to patients taking psychotropic medications than to patients taking cardiovascular medications. Awareness of the higher prevalence of physical health conditions among people with severe mental illness was not high. Provision of pharmacy services was associated with pharmacists’ attitudes towards mental illness and comfort providing pharmaceutical care. Other factors that may contribute to these disparities in service provision are discussed.
The study findings indicate the need for enhanced mental health education for pharmacy students to improve attitudes, knowledge and confidence in mental health and the inclusion of mental health in pharmacy advanced services.
Few studies have examined the relationship between attitudes towards mental illness and provision of pharmacy services. This was the first study to examine the attitudes of British community pharmacists towards mental illness.
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