Pharmacist self-perception of readiness to prescribe hormonal contraception and additional training needs

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2020 Jan;12(1):27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2019.10.005. Epub 2019 Nov 23.


Introduction: Our objectives were to describe pharmacist perceptions of training and preparation to prescribe hormonal contraception (HC), identify training gaps, and elicit preferred training methods.

Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, pharmacists in the United States (US) completed an online 29-item survey. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze responses.

Results: Of 823 participating pharmacists, 58% felt they received adequate training to prescribe HC. Prescribing any medications within the last five years or completion of residency training were significantly associated with more participants feeling adequately trained. Of those who indicated HC was not covered in their pharmacy school curriculum, most (78%) felt they were either not adequately trained or unsure. Only 36% were aware of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use (CDC MEC). Residency-trained pharmacists were statistically more likely to have used the CDC MEC and feel comfortable prescribing for adolescents. Most participants desired more training about switching between products (80%) and patient specific product selection (72%). Preferred methods for additional training were basic (<four hours) live trainings, on-demand webinars, and online self-study programs.

Conclusions: As pharmacist scope of practice expands to include prescribing HC, many opportunities remain to ensure pharmacists feel adequately trained to provide this service. Pharmacy educators and training programs should incorporate the findings of this study into their curricula, experiential opportunities, and continuing education offerings. Additional studies are needed on the effectiveness of various training formats and programs.

Keywords: Community pharmacy services; Contraception; Pharmacist education; Pharmacists; Pharmacy legislation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hormonal Contraception / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Pharmacists / psychology*
  • Pharmacists / standards
  • Pharmacists / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Concept*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States