Aims: To evaluate models for collaboration between community pharmacies and a government primary care unit (PCU) in carrying out a screening program for diabetes and hypertension.
Methods: An action research was undertaken and a screening and referring protocol developed. Study sites were two community pharmacies (Model 1) and footpaths/streets and seven communities (Model 2) under supervision of PCU in the city of Maha Sarakham Province, Thailand. The Combined Model consisted of Models 1 and 2. Those eligible were aged 40 years and over, not known to have diabetes or hypertension. Activity based costing of three models was analyzed from the provider perspective.
Results: The study involved 456 people during July-September 2007; 11 out of 51 attending pharmacies (21.6%) and 27 out of 405 attending the communities (6.6%) met criteria for referral to PCU for confirmatory diagnosis. Only six attended the PCU. Two of 456 (0.4%) were confirmed the diagnosis having hypertension, one was referred from a pharmacy (2%, 1/51) the other from a community (0.2%, 1/405). Model unit costs were US$ 11.2, 4.3 and 5.1 per screened person, respectively.
Conclusions: The results indicate a working model can identify people in the community requiring treatment of hypertension or diabetes. Pharmacy-based screening was more costly, but the success rate for referral was higher compared with a community-based service. More effort is needed to ensure referred patients attend the PCU.
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