Emergency contraceptive pills over- the-counter; practices and
attitudes of pharmacy and nurse-midwife providers
Gunilla Aneblom *, Karin Eurenius, Tanja Tydén, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University
Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg, Department of Public Health Sciences, IHCAR, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and Nordic School of Public Health, Göteborg,
Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg, Anders Carlsten, Research Division of Apoteket AB, Göteborg,
Tanja Tydén , Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University,
Introduction: Deregulation of emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) has led to pharmacy staff becoming a new provider group of ECP, together with nurse-midwives, who are already experienced in prescribing contraceptives.
Aim and Method: This postal questionnaire survey aimed to assess practices and attitudes towards ECP and the over-the-counter (OTC)-availability among pharmacy staff (n=237) and nurse-midwives (n=163). Attitudes were measured on a six-point Likert scale.
Results: The overall response rate was 89%. Both study groups were positive to ECP and the OTC-availability and the vast majority agreed that sexually active women should be aware of ECP and that routine information about ECP should be included in contraceptive counseling. Verbal information on all aspects of ECP to clients was reported more often by nurse-midwives than by pharmacy staff. Experience of ECP sale to men was reported by 25% of pharmacy staff, and 38% of pharmacy staff reported on referral of women to local clinics for follow up after treatment. Both groups supported collaboration between providers.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that further collaboration between pharmacies and family planning clinics should be encouraged to ensure a competent and client-friendly provision of ECP.