Background The International Pharmacists for Anticoagulation Care Taskforce (iPACT) is an expert group committed to enhancing the key role that pharmacists play in anticoagulation management. Pharmacists are ideally suited to monitor patients in this therapeutic area, but an assessment of their knowledge in providing consultations has not been formally evaluated.
Purpose The purpose of this needs assessment survey was to identify self-reported gaps in competences and confidence among practising pharmacists in the area of anticoagulation; to identify variances in confidence levels between community and hospital pharmacists; and to examine areas of anticoagulation with varying needs.
Material and methods An electronic link to the needs assessment survey was distributed to the pharmacists in the participating countries via their respective professional organisations or colleges. Countries with adequate response rates included in the preliminary statistical analysis were Canada, France, Portugal, Croatia, Brazil, Ireland, Hungary, New Zealand and the UK.
Results 1692 pharmacists completed the survey. The distribution of respondents were Canada 357 (21.1%), France 304 (18.0%), New Zealand 237 (14.0%), Portugal 180 (10.6%), Croatia 180 (10.6%), Hungary 171 (10.1%), Brazil 76 (4.5%), Ireland 68 (4.0%) and the UK 60 (3.5%). Community pharmacists had the highest participation 759 (44.9%) while outpatient hospital pharmacists, inpatient hospital pharmacists working on wards and other practice sites represented 133 (7.9%), 339 (20.0%) and 461 (27.2%) of the population, respectively. Overall, pharmacists were less confident in providing information on DOACs compared with VKA (83.4% vs 55.5%; p<0.0001). Confidence level was similar when comparing pharmacists in the outpatient hospital setting with the remaining respondents (mean score=25.8 vs 25.5; p>0.005) but significantly higher when comparing those pharmacists working on inpatient hospital wards (mean score=24.0 vs 26.0; p<0.001). Inpatient hospital pharmacists also cited higher confidence when advising patients about VKA (92.3% vs 85.8%; p=0.002). However, they did not show any difference in confidence when advising on NOACs (60.2% vs 61.0%; p>0.005). More than 90% of pharmacists reported they would like additional education in anticoagulation with personalised e-learning as the preferred source.
Conclusion These results highlight the apparent lack of confidence by both community and hospital pharmacists when discussing anticoagulation, particularly DOACs. Future continuing education programmes should be developed on electronic platforms focusing on practical clinical themes that apply across all settings.
No conflict of interest
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