Table 1

Pharmacist demographic and pharmacy characteristics comparing those within and outside general practice workforce distribution priority areas

Pharmacy located in DPA
Yes (n=134)No (n=231)Total (n=366)
Pharmacists’ characteristics
Age, years (n=353)
 <3036 (26.9)75 (32.5)111 (31.4)
 30–3942 (31.3)78 (33.7)120 (34.0)
 40+51 (38.1)70 (30.3)122 (34.6)
 Median (95% CI)35 (32.9 to 39)34 (32.4 to 35)34 (33 to 36)
Gender (n=361)
 Women*97 (72.4)130 (56.3)228 (63.2)
 Men36 (26.9)92 (39.8)128 (35.5)
 Gender not listed/prefer not to say0 (0.0)5 (0.8)5 (1.4)
Years practising in Australia (n=353)
 ≤540 (29.9)83 (35.9)123 (34.8)
 6–1543 (32.1)77 (33.3)120 (32.8)
 >1545 (33.6)64 (27.7)110 (30.1)
 Median (95% CI)9.5 (7 to 11)9 (7 to 11)9 (7 to 10)
Qualification when first registered as a pharmacist (n=359)
 Bachelor265 (73.8)
 Bachelor (Hons)59 (16.4)
 Master30 (8.4)
 PhD3 (0.8)
 Other2 (0.6)
Completed further pharmacy-related study* (n=342)43 (32.1)50 (21.7)93 (27.2)
 Position in pharmacy†
 Sole owner/partner75 (20.5)
 Full time221 (60.4)
 Part time59 (16.1)
 Casual/contract/locum22 (4.6)
Pharmacy characteristics
Location (n=365)
 Metropolitan18 (13.4)197 (85.3)215 (58.9)
 Regional centre or large rural town37 (27.6)27 (11.7)64 (17.5)
 Medium or small rural town*69 (51.5)7 (3.0)76 (20.8)
 Remote or very remote community*10 (7.5)0 (0.0)10 (2.7)
Type (n=364)
 Chain71 (53.0)123 (53.3)195 (53.6)
 Independent62 (46.3)107 (46.3)169 (46.4)
 Average number of full-time equivalent pharmacists on duty/day2 (1.5–2)2 (2)2 (1–2.5)
Professional service room on premises (n=364)
 Yes*77 (57.5)91 (39.4)168 (46.2)
 No – patient counselling occurs at:
 Differentiated prescription drop-off or pick-up area28 (20.9)77 (33.3)106 (29.1)
 Non-differentiated prescription drop-off/pick-up area25 (18.7)58 (25.1)83 (46.2)
 Other2 (1.5)5 (2.2)7 (1.9)
Frequency patients requested contraceptive advice/information during the past 6 months (n=362)
 Every day*3 (2.2)12 (5.2)15 (4.1)
 At least once per week44 (32.8)81 (35.1)125 (34.5)
 At least once per month34 (26.1)63 (28.0)99 (27.4)
 Less than once per month43 (32.1)60 (26.0)103 (28.5)
 Never8 (6.0)12 (5.2)20 (5.5)
Respondent pharmacist practices
 Counselling in current practice† (n=362):127 (94.8)218 (94.4)346 (95.6)
 When dispensing ECP117 (87.3)212 (91.8)330 (95.4)
 When dispensing mifepristone and misoprostol (medical abortion)39 (29.1)49 (21.2)88 (25.4)
 On request118 (88.1)198 (85.7)317 (91.6)
 When patients discuss current contraception side effects/issues108 (80.6)182 (78.8)290 (83.8)
 When providing information about other related products (eg, pregnancy tests)60 (44.8)97 (42.0)158 (39.9)
 Other (free-text responses)18 (13.4)26 (11.3)44 (12.7)
 New contraceptive therapies/switching method/when regular pill is not available (eg, due to shortage)15 (83.3)20 (76.9)35 (79.5)
 When patients/partners request advice about missed pills or what to do after ‘unprotected’ sex0 (0.0)3 (11.5)3 (6.8)
 Hypothetically would do so when dispensing medical abortion but either not registered or have had no requests1 (5.6)1 (3.8)2 (4.6)
 For friends, relatives (informally)0 (0.0)1 (3.8)1 (2.3)
Use of professional resources (eg, protocols or decision-making tools) during contraceptive counselling (n=351)
 Currently uses35 (26.1)69 (29.9)104 (29.6)
 Would implement in pharmacy and use during counselling47 (35.1)66 (28.6)114 (32.5)
 Would prefer to trial before adoption41 (30.6)70 (30.3)111 (31.6)
 Would provide contraceptive counselling if pharmacy policy mandated but would not use resources0 (0.0)8 (3.5)8 (2.3)
 Prefers not to change practice7 (5.2)7 (3.0)14 (4.0)
Willingness to adopt new clinical initiatives‡ (n=355)
 Innovator51 (38.1)89 (38.5)140 (39.4)
 Early adopter41 (30.6)65 (28.1)106 (29.9)
 Early majority21 (15.7)41 (17.8))62 (17.5)
 Late majority15 (11.2)23 (10.0)39 (11.0)
 Laggard1 (0.8)7 (3.0)8 (2.3)
  • DPA indicating areas with a shortage of general practitioners relative to community needs.

  • *p<0.05 (logistic regression, Mann-Whitney U test).

  • †Respondents could select more than one option, therefore total>366/>100%.

  • ‡Adapted from a validated questionnaire developed for community pharmacists, based on Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations theory: characteristics of intervention adopters are described on a continuum from laggards (resistant to change) to innovators (the first people to adopt new initiatives).

  • DPA, distribution priority area; ECP, emergency contraceptive pill.