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Addiction. 1999 Sep;94(9):1349-59.

Attitudinal factors associated with community pharmacists' involvement in services for drug misusers.

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  • 1Department of General Practice and Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill Health Centre, UK.



To assess the relationship between pharmacists' attitudes towards drug misusers and the availability and provision of services for drug misusers.


A cross-sectional postal questionnaire survey.


All community pharmacies in Scotland (n = 1142).


A total of 864 pharmacists managing community pharmacies on a day-to-day basis (response rate 79%).


Descriptive data were collected on demography, drug misuse services provided and training in drug misuse. Attitude statements were used to measure attitudes to drug misusers, the role of the pharmacist in dispensing controlled drugs and providing injecting equipment, providing advice on drug misuse and financial aspects of service provision. Statements were incorporated into a scale which was correlated with behavioural data on whether and how services were provided.


The attitude scale had good internal reliability and was unidimensional. Pharmacists that provided needle/syringe exchanges, sold needles/syringes, dispensed methadone, supervised the consumption of methadone and provided health promotion services to drug misusers had significantly more positive attitudes towards drug misusers. Attitudes were associated with health board area, sex and number of years registered as a pharmacist. After controlling for these characteristics, attitude was an independent predictor of whether needles/syringes were sold, methadone was dispensed and methadone consumption supervised.


Addressing negative attitudes could encourage more pharmacists to provide services and enhance the process of service delivery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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