Pharmacists in Saskatchewan: Public Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Pharmacists in Saskatchewan with National Comparisons
Over the last several years, the Pharmacy Association of Saskatchewan, in partnership with CPhA, has commissioned yearly public opinion surveys on public perceptions and attitudes towards pharmacists in Saskatchewan and across Canada. The public surveys are conducted by Abacus Data. Below is a summary of the survey. The full Saskatchewan and national surveys are at the bottom of the page.
2018 Saskatchewan Survey
This online survey was conducted with 4,023 Canadians aged 18 from February 23rd to March 4th, 2018. This survey asked Saskatchewan residents questions regarding their impressions, perceptions of importance and trust of various healthcare professionals. The second part of the survey asked Saskatchewan residents about scenarios they would go to their pharmacist for advice on and pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice.
Pharmacists Compared to Other Health Care Professionals
SK residents were asked about their experiences with various health care professionals. 97% of SK residents responded that they have very positive or mostly positive impressions of pharmacists; second only to paramedics and nurses. SK residents were asked about the importance of pharmacists in the healthcare team, to which 61% responded that pharmacists were essential and 33% responded that they were important. Pharmacists were ranked less essential/important than physicians, paramedics, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. SK residents were asked the extent they trusted pharmacists’ advice in specific scenarios. Residents responded that they completely trust or trust pharmacists a great deal (81%) for advice on medications more so than any other health care professional, however, trust pharmacists (53%) less than physicians (71%) and nurses (60%) for advice on management of chronic health conditions. Answers were comparable between SK residents and national findings.
Advice from Pharmacists
SK residents were asked how likely they were to see a pharmacist for a series of health-related scenarios. 90% of SK residents responded they are very likely or somewhat likely to ask pharmacists for advice on medications they are taking. 83% of SK residents responded that they are very likely or somewhat likely to ask pharmacists for advice on management of common ailments. Again, only 59% of SK residents responded that they are very likely or somewhat likely to ask a pharmacist for advice on the management of chronic health conditions. As well, only 66% of SK residents responded that they are very likely or somewhat likely to ask a pharmacist for advice on healthy lifestyle changes (e.g., smoking cessation, weight loss). Answers were comparable between SK residents and national findings.
Expanded Scope of Practice
SK residents were asked about their awareness of pharmacists expanded scope of practice. 88% of residents responded that they were aware pharmacists are able to administer flu shots. However, only 68% were aware pharmacist are able to prescribe medications for certain minor ailment conditions and only 48% were aware pharmacists are able to therapeutically substitute medications or adapt a prescription. SK residents responded that they strongly agreed or mostly agreed that allowing pharmacists to do more for patients will improve health outcomes (81%) and will also reduce costs to the healthcare system (85%).
Less SK residents received the flu shot in the 2017-18 flu season (35%) compared to 2016-17 (40%). SK residents were asked why they did not receive a flu shot this year. 37% of residents responded that they don’t believe the flu shot works ( 5% from 2016-17). As well, 19% of residents responded that they believe the flu shot is not safe ( 6% from 2016-17). These beliefs are more predominately held by SK residents aged 45 and over. 47% of those who did receive a flu shot did so at a pharmacy ( 13% from 2016-17) and 32% received theirs at a community clinic (-7% from 2016-17). SK residents aged 45 were twice as likely to get their flu shot from a pharmacist compared to those aged 18-44. 18% of responders claimed they received their first flu shot this year because it was available in pharmacies.
Minor Ailments Prescribing
SK residents were asked how likely they would be to get a prescription from a pharmacist for birth control. 63% of female residents responded that they were very likely or likely to get a prescription from a pharmacist (28% responded not applicable). 77% of SK residents aged 18-29 and 71% aged 30-44 responded very likely or likely.
SK residents were asked how likely they would be to get a prescription from a pharmacist for a UTI. 80% of female residents responded that they were very likely or likely to get a prescription from a pharmacist. 70% of SK residents aged 18-29, 80% aged 30-44, 67% aged 45-59 and 54% aged 60 responded very likely or likely.
Full Survey Results
Saskatchewan Abacus Data Survey Results .pdf
Pharmacists in Canada_Survey_2018.pdf
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