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Tuberculosis Testing in Community Pharmacies Convenient for Patients


February 11, 2020

Patients approved of a tuberculosis (TB) testing service offered at 12 community pharmacies, with more than 1700 adults taking advantage of the service over a 2-year period. Researchers reported patient perceptions of the initiative online in the journal Public Health.

“Uptake of the tuberculin skin test service in the community pharmacy setting was high, and patients reported positive experiences,” wrote researchers from the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy and the New Mexico Department of Health. 

Researchers surveyed 325 adults who received a TB test at one of 12 participating community pharmacies between August 2014 and July 2016. Survey participants answered 26 questions about their perceptions and experiences with the TB testing service. 

Patients reported that the care they received was accessible and met their needs, according to the study. While the majority of participants lived less than 5 miles from the pharmacy where they received their TB test, only 45.2% of those who had a primary care provider lived within 5 miles of his or her office. 

Most patients (84.6%) said the initial and follow-up appointments for the TB test took less than 20 minutes, researchers noted. Just over 4% of the tests were positive.  

Jolynn Tumolo

Reference

Jakeman B, Logothetis SJ, Saba M, et al. Patient perceptions of a tuberculosis testing program provided in the community pharmacy setting [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jan 31]. Public Health. 2020;181:135–140. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2019.12.010

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