Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy vol:5 issue:3 pages:242-52
BACKGROUND: Pharmacists' expanding roles may be witness to greater involvement in mental illnesses, of which depression is the disorder with the highest prevalence. Little, however, is known on pharmacists' attitude toward depression, although it may affect pharmacists' service provision and lead to stigmatization of patients. OBJECTIVE: This study is intended as a pilot to explore community pharmacists' attitude toward depression, components in the attitude, and factors related to it. METHODS: A random sample of 200 community pharmacists in Belgium was surveyed on the attitude toward depression. To measure this attitude, we used a modified version (adapted to the specific context of pharmacists) of the Depression Attitude Questionnaire (DAQ), which covers several aspects of the attitude toward depression. RESULTS: Pharmacists' attitude toward depression was generally favorable, but some opinions about depression treatment were not. This attitude could be summarized by 4 components (the attitude toward the treatment of depression, toward the course of depression, toward pharmacists' role in depression care, and toward patients with depression), although several limitations in the component solution were observed. Older pharmacists and those with a more pessimistic attitude toward the course of depression endorsed a more negative attitude toward patients with depression. CONCLUSIONS: The generally favorable attitude of community pharmacists toward depression is promising with regard to their role in depression care. Training programs, preferably including patients with depression themselves, are needed to further improve unfavorable attitudes. Further work is needed to refine the pharmacists' adapted DAQ.