Evaluation of online training for the provision of opioid substitution treatment by community pharmacists in New Zealand
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Introduction and Aims. The role of community pharmacists in the provision of opioid substitution treatment (OST) is pivotal and integral to addiction treatment. An online training program for pharmacists in OST management was piloted in New Zealand in 2010, following recognition of the difficulty in recruitment and retention of community pharmacists to provide OST services. Our aim was to evaluate the OST online training that was made available for any community pharmacist in New Zealand and to establish the feasibility and acceptability of this format of training for community pharmacists. The evaluation explored participants' attitudes, skills and knowledge both pre- and post-training in OST. Design and Methods. All pharmacists registering to participate in the training program were asked to complete an evaluation questionnaire immediately before (pre) and immediately after (post) completing the training. Participants were also invited to participate in a brief 10 min structured telephone interview about their training experience. Results. In the first 4 months 190 pharmacists commenced the training; 101 completed both evaluations. Improvements in the confidence and skills of pharmacists were demonstrated through both the quantitative and qualitative analyses. Statistically significant changes in attitudes were also demonstrated. Overall the OST training was well received and the online format was feasible and highly acceptable. Discussion and Conclusion. Online training is an appropriate and economical method of improving pharmacists' clinical skills with respect to this client group, and has the potential to reach a wider audience of pharmacists. Further research is required to investigate OST client experiences in community pharmacy.
Drug and Alcohol Review
Health and Community Services