Pharmacists' comfort level and knowledge about prescribing hormonal contraception in a supermarket chain pharmacy

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2018 Jul-Aug;58(4S):S89-S93. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2018.05.005.


Objectives: To compare community pharmacists' comfort levels and knowledge prescribing hormonal contraception before and after a training session and to identify perceived barriers and resources needed to prescribe hormonal contraception.

Methods: In this pre-post convenience sample survey study, all 350 pharmacists in the Mid-Atlantic Division of Kroger (which spans parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia) were surveyed before and after a training session. The survey consisted of several sections: 1) questions rating comfort, 2) knowledge-based multiple-choice assessment questions, 3) perceptions of barriers and resources needed to prescribe hormonal contraception, and 4) demographics. The training session was a 1-hour continuing education about hormonal contraception. Data were analyzed with the use of univariate and bivariate statistics to compare pre- and post-training survey information.

Results: Seventy-eight pharmacists completed both surveys (22.3% response rate). Pharmacists averaged 14 years in pharmacy practice, and 66.6% were female. More pharmacists (31.8%) perceived liability concern as the greatest barrier to pharmacist-initiated contraception. Pharmacist knowledge about hormonal contraception increased in some domains after the training session (P < 0.001). If allowed as a scope of practice in their state, the comfort level of pharmacists in prescribing any type of hormonal contraceptive significantly increased after the training session (P < 0.004).

Conclusion: Pharmacists have an initial lack of knowledge and perceived lack of comfort with prescribing hormonal contraception if allowed in their state of practice. A training session was identified as an effective tool and intervention to increase pharmacists' comfort levels in prescribing hormonal contraception.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Community Pharmacy Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Pharmacists / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional Role
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Hormones