Community pharmacists across thecountry are in a key position to providediagnostic screening for a patientpopulation that has been traditionallyresistant to medical attention: America'smen.
That is the conclusion of a new studyby researchers at the University of OklahomaCollege of Pharmacy. They foundthat pharmacists screening men for avariety of medical disorders discoveredan average of 3 previously undiagnosedhealth risks for each man assessed.
The study, part of the NationalCommunity Pharmacists Association's(NCPA's) Men's Health Care Initiative,involved 29 pharmacists in pharmaciesacross the country. These pharmacistswere provided with a unique "Men'sHealth Risk Assessment Tool"(MHRAT) to collect data on the medicalhistory of more than 380 men.Most of the men had not received aphysical examination within the pastyear.
The pharmacists identified nearly1200 significant, or previously undiagnosed,health conditions, and approximately50% of the men screened bythe pharmacists were recommendedfor a physician evaluation. Half of thepatients screened were found to havehigh cholesterol, 44% had hypertension,diabetes was a problem for 43%,and 40% were determined to be at riskfor prostate cancer.
"Pharmacists' screenings using theMHRAT resulted in 186 follow-up visitsto a physician and resulted in nearlyone new prescription per man," NCPAofficials said. Calling these screenings"the crucial step in getting men to seekfollow-up physician care," the groupsaid the study results confirm that"community pharmacists can play akey role in identifying health careproblems in their patients and/or communities."