Send to

Choose Destination
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2008 Jul;27(4):380-7. doi: 10.1080/09595230802093760.

Screening and brief interventions for alcohol: attitudes, knowledge and experience of community pharmacists in Auckland, New Zealand.

Author information

The School of Pharmacy, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.



Screening and brief intervention (SBI) for alcohol consumption in primary care have been shown to be effective in reducing drinking. This role has not been taken up by community pharmacists. This study aimed to explore attitudes, knowledge, barriers and incentives towards involvement of community pharmacists in New Zealand with problem drinkers.


A postal survey (three mailshots) of community pharmacies was undertaken in Auckland, New Zealand, followed by a 10% random sample non-responder-follow-up.


A response rate of 39.1% to the postal survey was obtained. In general, knowledge of alcohol content of drinks and recommended safe drinking limits was poor. Respondents were generally well motivated towards undertaking this role, but lacked knowledge, skills and confidence. On follow-up, non-responders were found to be less knowledgeable, but had similar attitudes to respondents, indicating potential for extrapolation with regard to beliefs and views on this subject.


This novel study has found that there is potential for involvement of community pharmacists in New Zealand in SBI for problem drinkers. Lack of knowledge can be remedied relatively easily; greater hurdles such as lack of skills, and lack of confidence may be offset by the high level of motivation of this group. This is an area where community pharmacists can further their professional scope of practice by being in an essential position to provide this service.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center