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Factors influencing pharmacists’ roles in preventing prescription and over-the-counter opioid misuse: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Lookup NU author(s): Ogochukwu Offu, Dr Shelina Visram, Dr Adam RathboneORCiD, Dr Laura LindseyORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


BackgroundThe prescribing rate of opioids is increasing and is a main contributor to opioid misuse. Community pharmacists can help reduce opioid misuse rates by carrying out prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) opioid misuse prevention services. Understanding the barriers and facilitators to community pharmacists’ involvement has the potential to improve these services.ObjectiveTo review the literature on the barriers and facilitators of community pharmacists’ involvement in prescription and OTC opioid misuse prevention.MethodsA systematic review of primary research was carried out in MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, and APA PsycINFO from January 2022 to March 2022. Narrative synthesis underpinned by the COM-B model was used to analyse findings from the included articles. Studies were included if they used qualitative or mixed methods; published in English and focussed on OTC or prescription opioids.ResultsTen studies were included in the review. Barriers and facilitators were grouped into individual, environmental, and system-level factors. Based on the COM-B model, these factors were classified as capabilities (knowledge and skill), opportunities (e.g. relationship with prescribers, time), and motivation (pharmacists’ attitude).ConclusionImproving pharmacists’ capabilities and opportunities might improve pharmacists’ motivation to offer opioid misuse services. This could improve pharmacists’ behaviour, that is, their role in preventing prescription and OTC opioid misuse. The findings of this review were based on information obtained from primary evidence from qualitative studies; However. further empirical work is needed to identify how pharmacists can be supported.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Offu OF, Visram S, Rathbone AP, Lindsey L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Pharmacy Practice

Year: 2023

Pages: epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 27/12/2023

Acceptance date: 05/12/2023

Date deposited: 16/01/2024

ISSN (print): 0961-7671

ISSN (electronic): 2042-7174

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/ijpp/riad090


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