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Investigating community pharmacists' perceptions of delivering chlamydia screening to young people: a qualitative study using normalisation process theory to understand professional practice

Lookup NU author(s): Lara Ahmaro, Dr Laura LindseyORCiD, Professor Simon Forrest



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Oxford University Press, 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


ObjectivesSome community pharmacies in England provide free chlamydia testing to young people, yet testing activity in the setting is low. This study aims to increase understanding of why that is, by investigating community pharmacists’ perceptions of barriers to delivering the service, and the reasons why some do not offer testing.MethodsSemi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 community pharmacists in North East England between November 2018 and May 2019. The sample comprised both those who provided and did not provide chlamydia testing at the time of the interview. Data were subjected to thematic analysis, utilising the constructs of the normalisation process theory.Key findingsPharmacists found it challenging to sustain delivery of chlamydia testing, as very few young people either requested the test or accepted it when it was offered during consultations on other sexual health services. Pharmacists were cautious about offering the test, having concerns about making clients feel uncomfortable. They identified the value of training to enable them to communicate confidently with clients about testing. Pharmacists supported the suggestion that treatment for chlamydia be offered as part of a ‘test and treat’ package, as they felt that it aligned to their role in the provision of medicines advice.ConclusionsCommunity pharmacies are well-placed to deliver chlamydia testing but are not operating as effectively as they might do. The provision of training on communicating with young people, integrating testing with more sexual health services, and providing ‘test and treatment’ for chlamydia could contribute to greater testing activity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ahmaro L, Lindsey L, Forrest S, Whittlesea C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Year: 2022

Volume: 30

Issue: 6

Pages: 507-513

Print publication date: 01/12/2022

Online publication date: 22/07/2022

Acceptance date: 06/07/2022

Date deposited: 22/08/2022

ISSN (print): 0961-7671

ISSN (electronic): 2042-7174

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ijpp/riac057

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/3kxq-7r71


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