Online Program

Situational Prescription Drug Abuse-Related Communication Confidence among Community Pharmacists: An Exploratory Analysis

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nicholas Hagemeier, PharmD, PhD, Department of Pharmacy Practice, East Tennessee State University Gatton College of Pharmacy, Johnson City, TN
Rajkumar Sevak, MS, PhD, Department of Pharmacy Practice, East Tennessee State University Gatton College of Pharmacy, Johnson City, TN
Daniel Ventricelli, PharmD, Department of Pharmacy Practice, East Tennessee State University Gatton College of Pharmacy, Johnson City, TN
Prescription drug abuse and misuse (PDA/M) prevalence has increased dramatically in the United States over the last two decades.  Community pharmacists are intimately involved in the dispensing of a majority of eventually abused/misused prescription drugs and are thus well positioned to engage in PDA/M prevention and treatment.  A known barrier to engagement in prevention efforts among providers is discomfort with PDA/M communication.  The objective of this study was to explore relative situational self-perceived PDA/M communication confidence among Tennessee community pharmacists.

Using the validated Self-Perceived Communication Competence instrument as a framework, an 18-item survey instrument (0-100 scale; 0=completely unconfident, 100=completely confident) was developed and administered to 2000 Tennessee pharmacists.  Items elicited communication confidence across multiple contexts and receivers, including PDA/M situations and common community pharmacy situations. Parametric statistical tests were used to examine differences in communication confidence across demographic variables.

A 40% response rate was obtained.  Mean self-perceived communication confidence ratings ranged from 54.2 to 92.6.  Statistically significant differences were noted across receiver type and context.  Addiction communication confidence was significantly lower than all other scenarios involving patient communication, including items that could be considered accusatory to patients (non-adherence, smoking cessation).  Differences in communicative self-confidence were noted across gender, practice setting, years in practice, hours worked per week, and number of prescriptions filled per week. 

Pharmacists’ self-perceived communication confidence is situational and varies across pharmacist and practice setting characteristics.  Efforts to engage community pharmacists in PDA/M prevention and treatment should foster development of communicative self-confidence across multiple PDA/M situations.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe pharmacists’ self-perceived communication confidence across multiple contexts and receiver types, including prescription drug abuse situations Compare pharmacists’ self-perceived communication confidence across practice setting and pharmacist characteristics

Keyword(s): Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as principal investigator and co-investigator on both federal and state grants that use health behavior theory to explain prescriber and dispenser behaviors specific to prescription drug abuse. I am particularly interested in health care provider communication and the role of interpersonal communication in substance abuse prevention and treatment.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.