Patient perspectives on discussing alcohol as part of medicines review in community pharmacies

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Background: This paper reports on a qualitative study which formed part of the intervention development phase of a five year research programme (Community pharmacy: Highlighting Alcohol use in Medication aPpointments; CHAMP-1). Objectives: To better understand patient views on the appropriateness of alcohol as a subject for discussion in medication reviews in community pharmacy. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 25 people eligible for medication reviews whose AUDIT-C screening scores identified them as likely risky drinkers. Transcripts were analysed using a modified framework method with a constructionist thematic analysis approach. Results: Most patients interviewed said they were open to the idea of a medication and alcohol linked discussion with a pharmacist if this was routine, well-conducted and confidential. Such a discussion was thought less personally relevant for those who viewed the proposed intervention through the prism of a particular set of ideas about the nature of alcohol problems, which distanced them from thinking about alcohol in terms of their everyday life and possible impacts on their health. Study findings attest to some of the sensitivities involved in discussion of alcohol, and the complexities inherent in helping people to talk about their own drinking, medicine use and health. Conclusions: Patients were open to the idea of discussing alcohol with community pharmacists in the context of a medicines review if this was sensitively done and the relevance was clear to them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-101
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number1
Early online date5 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Alcohol
  • Brief intervention
  • Community pharmacy
  • Medicines review
  • Qualitative research

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