The provision of current and future sexual health services from community pharmacies in Grampian, Scotland

Int J Clin Pharm. 2011 Apr;33(2):183-90. doi: 10.1007/s11096-010-9458-x. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


Objective: Community pharmacies play a vital role in promoting, maintaining and improving the health of the local community. This study explored community pharmacists' activities and attitudes towards the provision of sexual health services (SHS) in North East Scotland, as well as their needs with regard to the delivery of current and future SHS.

Setting: North East Scotland.

Methods: A questionnaire was conducted of community pharmacists working in community pharmacies in Grampian (n = 128).

Main outcome measures: Self-reported provision of sexual health services; attitudes towards current and future sexual health services; previous training and perceived training needs; respondent demographics.

Results: In total, 73% (94/128) of community pharmacists responded. The average number of SHS/products per pharmacy was six out of a possible 13 (range: 4-10). Respondents expressed positive attitudes towards the provision of current and future SHS. However, they also reported that they had received little or no sexual health training but that they would like to receive training in all areas of sexual health. Barriers to the provision of sexual health included workload, lack of training and the need for payment for additional services.

Conclusion: Community pharmacists already provide a limited range of sexual health services. Community pharmacists, their staff and their premises could be used in strategies to reduce unplanned pregnancies, the incidence of sexually transmitted infections and to promote respectful and responsible sexual behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Community Health Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Community Pharmacy Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraception
  • Education, Pharmacy
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pharmacies* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pharmacists* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Professional Role
  • Reproductive Health Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • Scotland
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires