Objective: To assess student pharmacists' interest and opinions in providing reproductive health services, particularly hormonal contraception (HC), in their future practices.
Methods: This descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional study was conducted in California between February and May 2007. Surveys were distributed to 790 second- and third-year student pharmacists to measure interest, opinions, and perceived barriers in providing HC services.
Results: 502 survey responses (63.5% response rate) were received. Student pharmacists reported interest in providing HC services (96.2%) to both minors and adults (53.3%), adults (40.6%), or minors (6.2%). Students felt that patients would benefit from improved access and advice (94.0%). Inadequate pharmacist time was deemed an extremely important barrier in determining whether pharmacists could efficiently and effectively provide HC services, followed by lack of private counseling area in the pharmacy, inadequate patient health information, and lack of appropriate incentive structure. Students were interested in providing other reproductive health services, specifically preventive measures against sexually transmitted infections (STIs; 89.2%) and STI treatment for the partners of patients presenting with valid STI prescriptions (88.4%).
Conclusion: Student pharmacists were very interested in providing pharmacy access to HC and related reproductive health services as future practitioners. The willingness of student pharmacists to provide this support indicates that pharmacy access to HC could be a viable service.