Student pharmacists' perceptions regarding pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraceptives and their professional responsibility

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2021 Mar-Apr;61(2):e145-e152. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2020.11.020. Epub 2020 Dec 24.


Background: Currently, 13 U.S. jurisdictions allow for pharmacist-prescribed contraception; however, pharmacists' intention to use and ultimate uptake of this patient care opportunity have been variable.

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to (1) identify student pharmacists' attitudes toward pharmacist-prescribed hormonal contraception (HC), (2) identify student pharmacist perceived barriers regarding pharmacist-prescribed HC, and (3) explore what factors affect student pharmacists' viewpoints.

Methods: An anonymous survey was administered using Qualtrics among third-year student pharmacists in a public health course. The survey was developed using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and previously published literature. TPB was developed to predict an individuals' intention to engage in a behavior at a specific time and place. All responses were anonymous. Survey responses were summarized using descriptive statistics, and Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney test was used to compare differences based on student pharmacist gender and religion.

Results: A total of 67 student pharmacists participated in the survey (response rate 80.7%). Most agreed-strongly agreed (n = 59, 88.1%) that pharmacists are capable of appropriately assessing and selecting HC therapies and believe it should be within a pharmacist's scope of practice (n = 53, 79.1%). Similarly, most agreed-strongly agreed that it is a professional responsibility for pharmacists to provide this service (n = 56, 83.6%). Potential barriers identified included limited access to patient medical records (n = 55, 82.1%), interruption to workflow (n = 51, 76.1%), and concerns for a decrease in well-women examinations (n = 51, 76.1%). Most identified with the Christian faith (n = 45, 67.2%) but said this did not influence their opinions (n = 40, 59.7%). Gender, age, and religion were not found to be associated with student pharmacists' attitudes. However, an increasing number of barriers were negatively associated with their attitudes.

Conclusion: Student pharmacists believe it is within a pharmacist's scope of practice and a professional responsibly to prescribe HC. Student pharmacists were less supportive of pharmacist-prescribed HC if they reported a greater number of barriers.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Contraceptive Agents*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Perception
  • Pharmacists*
  • Professional Role
  • Students


  • Contraceptive Agents