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The role of a pharmacist to raise awareness in the management of hypertension

Author: 
Belin Tilija, Hana Morrissey and Patrick Anthony Ball
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

Introduction: Community pharmacies are generally a first point of contact with 1.6 million people visiting a pharmacy in England each day. Pharmacists are defined as experts in medicines. The role of a pharmacist has advanced from ‘product-focused’ through medicine to a ‘caregiver’ where they provide person-centred care to ensure suitable prescribing. As highlighted by Mark Koziol, chair of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, the profession of pharmacy is not only to handle prescriptions but to take an interventionist approach to move into a population health management role and save the United Kingdom healthcare industry millions of pounds. Aim: The aim of this project was to identify peoples’ perspective, on hypertension and the role of a pharmacist to manage hypertension. Methods: A mixed-methods health promotion study, questionnaire-based, followed by measurement of their BP, the study was conducted at the University of Wolverhampton (UoW), city campus. The sample was achieved through verbally inviting all those passing by the Millenium City Building main entrance (n=50). Results:Of the participants 50% were not aware of the free BP screenings offered in local pharmacies and 90% had never visited their local pharmacy for BP services. Although, the majority of the participants had adequate knowledge about the recommended BP reading and the complications of long-term hypertension, but the utilization of the services community pharmacies offered and their general knowledge about prevalence hypertension were minimal. Conclusion: Blood pressure screening currently occurs in a small number of community pharmacies and the utilization of this service remains low. The public is in favour of receiving health support and services from the pharmacists in the community setting, therefore; pharmacists should take this opportunity and consider increasing their blood pressure measuring services.

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