Home' Australian Pharmacist : October 2011 Contents Vol. 30 -- October #10, 2011
Continuing Professional Development
The articles in this series are independently researched and compiled by PSA commissioned authors and peer reviewed.
utilising the opportunity to promote
health when dispensing prescriptions
and counselling on OTC medicines,
but there are also many opportunities
for community development and
To improve the health-related
quality of life of people living with
arthritis, reduce the cost and
prevalence of the condition, and
reduce the impact on individuals,
their carers and communities within
Australia, A National action plan for
osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and
osteoporosis12 was developed. It was
endorsed by the Australian Health
Ministers Conference in 2005.
Strategies that pharmacists can focus
on to reduce the burden of disease
and disability associated with arthritis
can be aligned to the initial focus
areas identified in the National Action
Plan. Table 1 provides some examples
of such strategies.
UK research identified that health
promotion activity in community
pharmacy was 2.5 times more likely
to be reactive than proactive.14
Pharmacists should reflect on their
own practice, the needs of their
community, and identify specific
strategies they can introduce to
consistently promote good health.
Case study table. Ideas and opportunities for implementing health promotion activities in my pharmacy
Aged care home
Within community pharmacy
QUM activity for nursing staff on falls
prevention (see PSA Guidelines for
pharmacists providing Residential Medication
Management Review and Quality Use of
Medicines services to aged care homes)
Weight management service (consider programs available for
Talks to local community groups -- aged, school groups (see
PSA Health Promotion presentations on Weight Management)
Consumer information -- Self Care fact cards (e.g. Weight and
the use of
Drug usage evaluation or QUM activities
on the use of NSAIDs and paracetamol
for osteoarthritis (see PSA Guidelines for
pharmacists providing RMMR and QUM
services to aged care homes)
Drug use evaluation of opioid therapy for
chronic pain (see NPS DUE kits)
QUM activity for nursing staff on pain
management (see PSA Pain management
Consumer information -- Self Care fact cards (e.g. Osteoarthritis,
Clinical intervention -- attention to adherence to regular
paracetamol (see RACGP guidelines for osteoarthritis)
Clinical intervention -- attention to appropriate use of
NSAIDs (see RACGP guidelines for osteoarthritis, PSA Targeted
intervention: Calculate NSAID risk for people with persistent pain;
attend PSA Clinical intervention workshops)
Check staff are trained and reinforce protocol to ensure referral
where appropriate (see Unit on analgesic and anti-inflammatory
medicines from Certificate II in Community Pharmacy)
Conduct a health campaign in pharmacy (see Self Care
materials from 2009 -- posters, staff training, consumer
information; check when Arthritis Awareness week is; contact
Arthritis Australia to see what resources they have)
Generic strategies that improve
health literacy more generally will
also be important for improving the
health outcomes of people with
arthritis. Health literacy has been
defined as the 'degree to which
individuals have the capacity to
obtain, process and understand
basic health information and
services to make appropriate
'15 Low health
literacy translates to a 'limited
access to health information,
sub-optimal preventive care, and
ineffective decision making about
You decide to first focus your
attention on osteoarthritis, as
it is the most prevalent form of
arthritis. The strategies you are
thinking about implementing can be
categorised as preventive activities
or activities that optimise the use of
medicines. You realise that different
opportunities can be identified for
the people residing in the aged
care home the pharmacy services
compared with those targeting
people who visit the pharmacy and
the broader community.
You note down all your ideas to
discuss with your manager and
resources that might help with
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.Australia's
health 2010. Australia's health series no. 12. Cat. no.
AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW; 2010.
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. A snapshot
of arthritis in Australia 2010. Arthritis series no. 13.
Cat. no. PHE 126. Canberra: AIHW; 2010.
3. Marks R, Allegrante J. Prevalence and impact of
arthritis: Opportunities for prevention. Health Educ J.
4. Guideline for the non-surgical management of hip and
knee osteoarthritis. Melbourne: RACGP; 2009.
5. AIHW. Health expenditure for arthritis and
musculoskeletal conditions, 2004--05. Arthritis series
no. 10. Cat. no. PHE 115. Canberra: AIHW; 2009
6. Stolt P, et al. Quantification of the influence of cigarette
smoking on rheumatoid arthritis: results from a
population based case-control study, using incident
cases. Ann Rheum Dis 2003; 62:835--41.
7. Ottawa Charter [online]. At: www.who.int/
8. Chen T, et al. Medication management and education
of osteoarthritis patients: evaluation of a role for
community pharmacists. Sydney: Faculty of Pharmacy,
University of Sydney; 2006.
9. Jackson J, Sweidan M, et al. Public health --
recognising the role of Australian pharmacists. J Pharm
Prac Research. 2004; 34:240--92.
10. Sunderland B, et al. Rural pharmacy not delivering on
its health promotion potential. Aust J Rural Health.
11. Blekinsopp, et al. Health promotion for pharmacists.
Oxford: Oxford Medical Publications; 1999.
12. National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions
Advisory Group. A National action plan for
osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health
and Ageing; 2005.
13. Clinical guideline for the diagnosis and management of
early rheumatoid arthritis. Melbourne: RACGP; 2009.
14. Moore C, et al. Health promotion in community
pharmacy. Int J Pharm Pract. 1996; 4:109--16.
15. Adkins N, Corus C. Health literacy for improved health
outcomes: effective capital in the marketplace. J
Consumer Affairs. 2009; 43(2):199--222.
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