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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 112-122

The role of pharmacists in cardiovascular disease prevention: Qualitative studies from the United Kingdom and Greece


1 Department of Life and Health Sciences, Pharmacy Programme, School of Science and Engineering, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus
2 Department of Pharmacy, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry, Kingston University, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Reem Kayyali
Department of Pharmacy, School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry, Kingston University, London
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_19_3

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Objective: In the United Kingdom (UK), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the second main cause of death (27.4%) and the leading cause of death in Greece, accounting for 48% incidences. Pharmacists, the most accessible health-care professionals, can have a key role in all stages of CVD prevention. This study aimed to explore the current and future role of pharmacists in CVD prevention, focusing on two European countries, the United Kingdom and Greece. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 community pharmacists; 20 in the UK and 20 in Greece. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed thematically. Findings: Five main themes were identified: current pharmacists' role, future pharmacists' role, communication, resources and tools, and knowledge. Whereas pharmacists in the UK use a patient-centered approach, Greek pharmacists use a paternalistic approach.Nevertheless, the majority found it difficult to initiate a consultation. Both the UK and Greek pharmacists primarily focus on secondary CVD prevention, while dispensing prescribed medications, which is their main current role. Greek pharmacists recognized a potential role in primary prevention and early screening of CVD through the initiation of CVD prevention services with a weight management program being proposed. Barriers identified for a role in CVD prevention included: high workload in Greece and reimbursement issues and interprofessional relations in the UK. Conclusion: Pharmacists in both countries perceive having a potential role in CVD prevention based on their accessibility and customer relations. The challenges include a closer working relationship with other clinicians, communication/consultation skills training, and developing a sustainable funding model for the service.


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