Objectives: To determine whether pharmacy-based cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening reached the desired population, the local population's awareness of pharmacy screening and the views of service users and the general public about CVD screening.
Methods: Pharmacy staff, located in one English Primary Care Trust providing a CVD screening service, issued questionnaires to service users who had undergone screening. Face-to-face street surveys were conducted with members of the general public within the vicinity of each participating pharmacy.
Key findings: A total of 259 people were screened within the first 6 months of service provision, 97 of whom (37.4%) completed the evaluation questionnaire. In addition, 261 non-service users participated in street surveys. Most respondents among both service users and non-users had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including smoking and lack of exercise. Responses to statements regarding CVD screening showed a high level of agreement with the need for screening in both groups. However, significantly more service users (90.7%) agreed that a pharmacy was a good place for screening compared to the non-users (77.4%; P < 0.005). Likewise significantly fewer service users agreed that screening should be only carried out by doctors (10.3 compared to 25.3% of non-users; P < 0.005). The overall majority of service users 96 (99.7%) had a positive experience of the screening service, agreeing that they were given enough time and pharmacists made them feel at ease. Only 9% of non-users were aware of the pharmacy service and, although the majority (78.4%) were willing to be screened at a pharmacy, this was significantly lower among males than females (69.9 compared to 82.7%; P < 0.005). Perceived concerns about confidentiality and lack of privacy were among barriers identified to taking up screening.
Conclusion: Pharmacy-based CVD screening is acceptable to the public. Its uptake could be improved through increased awareness of the service and by addressing concerns about privacy and confidentiality in promotional activities.
© 2012 The Authors. IJPP © 2012 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.