Pharmacists as health educators and risk communicators in the early detection of prostate cancer.
BACKGROUND: Community pharmacist involvement in health communication could assist in ameliorating health disparities in a number of areas. One such area is the early detection of prostate cancer in patients. OBJECTIVES: The primary goal of this study was to explore the role of pharmacists as health educators and risk communicators in the prevention of prostate cancer mortality. The study objectives were to (1) describe community pharmacists' attitudes and beliefs related to serving as health educators and risk communicators on prostate cancer; and (2) assess community pharmacists' knowledge about prostate cancer. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey methodology was used to collect data from pharmacists present at the Florida Pharmacy Association 115th Annual Meeting. Eighty-nine pharmacists were administered a survey to measure their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs using a structured survey form. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression analyses were used to analyze participants' responses. RESULTS: The mean age of participants was 45 years and they were mostly male, White (non-Hispanic) with B.S. Pharmacy as the highest degree. The face validity of the survey instrument was established through pilot test. Participants' views about offering prostate cancer education for patients were generally positive; however, participants' score on the general prostate cancer knowledge scale for patients was lower than expected for health care professionals, with approximately 45% of the participating pharmacists scoring less than 80% on the Odedina Prostate Cancer Screening Behavior Scale. Based on multiple regression analyses, participants' gender and disease state management status were found to be significantly associated with prostate cancer knowledge, whereas prostate cancer knowledge, technician staffing, and the type of pharmacy significantly predicted pharmacists' interest in prostate cancer education. CONCLUSIONS: Although the community pharmacists in this study were willing to take on responsibilities in the prevention and detection of prostate cancer, their knowledge base may serve as an impediment to action. Future research may identify means by which to educate pharmacists and enable their involvement.
Odedina, FT; Warrick, C; Vilme, H; Young, S
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