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LISTEN UP (Locally Integrated Screening and Testing Ear aNd aUral Programme): a feasibility study protocol for a community pharmacy-based ear health intervention

Taylor, Selina Maree, Cairns, Alice, Mantzourani, Efi and Glass, Beverley D. 2021. LISTEN UP (Locally Integrated Screening and Testing Ear aNd aUral Programme): a feasibility study protocol for a community pharmacy-based ear health intervention. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 7 (1) , 124. 10.1186/s40814-021-00856-6

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Abstract

Background Ear disease is a major cause of preventable hearing loss and is very common in rural communities, estimated to affect 1.3 million Australians. Rural community pharmacists are well placed to provide improved ear health care to people who are unable to easily access a general practitioner (GP). The purpose of this study is to apply an ear health intervention to the rural community-pharmacy setting in Queensland, Australia, to improve the management of ear disease. The aims are the following: (1) to evaluate the feasibility, potential effectiveness and acceptability of a community pharmacy-based intervention for ear health, (2) to evaluate the use of otoscopy and tympanometry by pharmacists in managing ear complaints in community pharmacy and (3) to evaluate the extended role of rural pharmacists in managing ear complaints, with the potential to expand nationally to improve minor ailment management in rural communities. Methods/design This is a longitudinal pre- and post-test study of a community-pharmacy-based intervention with a single cohort of up to 200 patients from two rural community pharmacies. Usual care practices pertaining to the management of ear complaints will be recorded prior to the intervention for 8 weeks. The intervention will then be piloted for 6 weeks, followed by a 12 month impact study. Patients aged > 13 years presenting to the pharmacies with an ear complaint will be invited to participate. Trained pharmacists will conduct an examination including a brief history, hearing screening, otoscopy and tympanometry assessments. Patients will be referred to a general practitioner (GP) if required, according to the study protocol. Patients will complete a satisfaction survey and receive a follow-up phone call at 7 days to explore outcomes including prescribed medications and referrals. Pharmacists and GPs will complete pre- and post- intervention interviews. Patient, pharmacist and GP data will be analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis for the qualitative data. Discussion This study will demonstrate the implementation of a screening and referring ear health intervention in rural community pharmacy. Feasibility, potential effectiveness and acceptability of the intervention will be assessed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 2055-5784
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2021
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 09:15
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142023

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