Drinkaware commissioned a review to assess the current evidence, practice and implications for the delivery of alcohol ‘Identification and Brief Advice’ (IBA) in community pharmacy settings in England and Wales.
Key findings included:
Community pharmacies have been identified as a feasible and appropriate as settings for IBA delivery by both research and case study review elements. There is an absence of evidence for the effectiveness of IBA in community pharmacy settings which is complicated by some important but often misinterpreted issues. However, an argument may be made that Primary Care evidence is sufficient to justify implementation of IBA in other feasible settings.
A number of barriers to implementation are consistently identified in the research and case study examples. In particular, pharmacy staff beliefs and attitudes were particularly relevant, but scope for addressing these through training and support was possible. Other important potential barriers included time, possible expectations of an incentivisation framework, and a lack of access to private consulting rooms.
Potential facilitators have been identified as high quality training programmes, investment and engagement with multiple stakeholders and pharmacy staff, good commissioning practice, and printed resources or campaigns to directly support IBA initiatives.
A common model for the delivery of IBA in real world pharmacy settings has emerged based on the use of AUDIT-C scratch cards to initiate the intervention. However there is almost no evaluation assessing whether real world pharmacy IBA projects and the use of scratch cards have resulted in person centred brief interventions of an acceptable standard.
The successful implementation and evaluation of future community pharmacy IBA projects will depend on carefully considered and well-resourced multi-component approaches.