Developing community pharmacists' role in the management of type 2 diabetes and related microvascular complications: a nationwide survey in Australia

Louise Woodhams, Leanne Chalmers, Graham S. Hillis, Tin Fei Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Community pharmacists have regular interactions with people living with type 2 diabetes to supply medications, and have a potential role in supporting other primary care professionals in the screening, management, monitoring and facilitation of timely referral of microvascular complications. This study aimed to investigate the contemporary and future roles of community pharmacists in diabetes-related microvascular complication management. Methods: This study involved an online Australian nation-wide survey of pharmacists administered via Qualtrics (R) and distributed through social media platforms, state and national pharmacy organisations, and via major banner groups. Descriptive analyses were undertaken using SPSS. Results: Among 77 valid responses, 72% of pharmacists already provided blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring services for the management of type 2 diabetes. Only 14% reported providing specific microvascular complication services. Over 80% identified a need for a comprehensive microvascular complication monitoring and referral service, and agreed it is feasible and within the scope of practice of a pharmacist. Almost all respondents agreed that they would implement and provide a monitoring and referral service if provided with appropriate training and resources. Potential barriers to service implementation were competing demands and lack of remuneration and awareness among consumers and health professionals. Conclusions: Type 2 diabetes services in Australian community pharmacies do not currently focus on microvascular complication management. There appears to be strong support for implementing a novel screening, monitoring and referral service via community pharmacy to facilitate timely access to care. Successful implementation would require additional pharmacist training, and identification of efficient pathways for service integration and remuneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14849
Number of pages18
JournalPEERJ
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2023

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