• Emergency hormonal contraceptive service provision via community pharmacies in the UK: a systematic review of pharmacists’ and young women’s views, perspectives and experiences

      Chirewa, B; orcid: 0000-0003-2784-8274; Wakhisi, A (SAGE Publications, 2019-08-12)
      Aims: Unintended pregnancy among young people remains a major public health problem in the UK, despite recent evidence suggesting that the number of teenage pregnancies in England is falling. Community pharmacies have the potential to reduce health inequalities among young women through improved and appropriate access to sexual health services. This study seeks to examine the views, perceptions and experiences of young women and community pharmacists concerning emergency hormonal contraceptive (EHC) provision from community pharmacies in the UK. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched for articles published in English between 2000 and 2017. Titles and abstracts were screened by two researchers according to the inclusion criteria. Results: A total of eight papers reporting studies carried out within the UK were included. Five key themes were identified from the perspectives of young women: convenience and ease of access, embarrassment and non-judgemental services, free services, confidentiality and pharmacist being helpful. Six key themes were identified from the perspectives of the pharmacists: concerns about supply of EHC, improved access, no need for appointment, confidentiality, free EHC and training. Conclusions: The review suggests that services should be designed based on the views, perceptions and experiences of the service users and providers in order to reduce inequities to access of EHC. Pharmacists who provide EHC should continuously upgrade their knowledge base through training if the sexual health needs of the young women who access pharmacies are to be adequately met.