Approximately 13 million people visit their GP each year about a skin problem. Community pharmacists are a highly accessible source of advice and treatment for skin problems and could potentially reduce the burden on GPs. The level of dermatological knowledge among community pharmacists is unknown, although further training is likely to enable them to provide current and appropriate advice to those with skin conditions.
To evaluate the impact of dermatology training on community pharmacists’ knowledge; to explore patients’ perspectives on the value of advice/treatment received from pharmacists who had received further training.
Pharmacists attended a one-day dermatology training event. Knowledge was assessed using a questionnaire administered before and immediately after the training day. Patients seeking advice on a skin problem completed an anonomised evaluation form which enquired about satisfaction with the advice/treatment provided, resolution of symptoms and agreement with statements related to the pharmacist consultation.
A total of 41 pharmacists attended the training event. Knowledge scores improved significantly post-training, 5.32 vs 13.16 (p < 0.001). The majority (98%, n = 124) of patients were either satisfied/very satisfied with the advice/treatment received from the pharmacist. Over 90% (n = 124) of patients would either recommend visiting a pharmacy for advice on a skin problem.
Further training in dermatology enhanced pharmacist knowledge scores and led to a high level of satisfaction among patients seeking advice on a skin problem. Wider expansion of such a scheme could benefit a larger number of those affected by skin problems.
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