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DOI: 10.1101/2023.03.16.23287349

Use of pharmacy services in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults; findings from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

L. T.Murry M. Flood A. Holton R. A. Kenny F. Moriarty
Introduction The role of community pharmacists has evolved in recent years with expansion in pharmacy services offered. This study aims to assess pharmacy services use among adults aged >=50 years in Ireland, and determine the demographic and clinical factors associated with pharmacy services use. Methods This cross-sectional study included community-dwelling participants in wave 4 of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), aged >=56 years who were self-respondents. TILDA is a nationally representative cohort study, with wave 4 data collected during 2016. TILDA collects participant demographics and health data, in addition to information on the use of several services when visiting the pharmacy in the last 12 months. Characteristics and pharmacy services use were summarised. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the association of demographic and health factors with reporting (i) any pharmacy service use and (ii) requesting medicines advice. Results Among 5,782 participants (55.5% female, mean age 68 years), 96.6% (5,587) reported visiting a pharmacy in the previous 12 months, and almost one fifth of these (1,094) availed of at least one specified pharmacy service. The most common non-dispensing services reported were requesting advice about medications (786, 13.6%), blood pressure monitoring (184, 3.2%), and vaccination (166, 2.9%). Controlling for other factors, female sex (odds ratio (OR) 1.32, 95%CI 1.14-1.52), third-level education (OR 1.85, 95%CI 1.51-2.27), higher rates of GP visits, private health insurance (OR 1.29, 95%CI 1.07-1.56), higher number of medications, loneliness, and respiratory condition diagnosis (OR 1.42, 95%CI 1.14-1.74) were associated with higher likelihood of availing of pharmacy services. The relationship between these factors and requesting medicines advice were similar. Conclusion A high proportion of middle-aged and older adults visit community pharmacy and a fifth avail of specified pharmacy services. Despite advances in the services offered in pharmacies, medicines advice remains at the core of pharmacists' practice.