Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

First Advisor

Sara J. Corwin

Second Advisor

Robert F. Valois

Abstract

Providing access to sterile syringes, through pharmacy-based syringe sales, is considered an important part of a comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS prevention among injection drug users (IDUs). Pharmacists are the gatekeepers for such sales and thus, formal pharmacy education can potentially play a critical role in shaping syringe- selling behavior of pharmacy students.

This dissertation presents results from an electronic survey administered to pharmacy students enrolled at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. The cross- sectional survey assessed pharmacy students‟ knowledge of syringe laws, HIV prevention beliefs, perceived negative consequences of selling, beliefs about addiction, beliefs about educational preparation, normative beliefs, facilitators of selling, community-based pharmacy experience with selling, and intention to sell syringes to IDUs. The survey was completed by a total of 119 second, third, and fourth year doctoral pharmacy students. Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test, multiple linear regression, and multiple logistic regression analysis were conducted.

The majority (64.9%) of students reported selling syringes and 24.1% reported declining to sell syringes to suspected IDUs during their pharmacy experiences. Intention to sell was positively associated with students and preceptors‟ selling and negatively associated with students‟ declining to sell. Students‟ intention to sell was positively associated with knowledge of syringe laws, HIV prevention beliefs, normative beliefs, and facilitators of selling and negatively associated with perceived negative consequences of selling. Student sold was positively associated with HIV prevention beliefs and normative beliefs and was negatively associated with perceived negative consequences of selling.

Students with high intention to sell had significantly higher knowledge of syringe laws, HIV prevention beliefs, normative beliefs, and facilitators of selling and lower perceived negative consequences of selling than students with low intention to sell syringes to suspected IDUs. HIV prevention beliefs, perceived negative consequences of selling, and declining to sell syringes were significant independent predictors of intention to sell, and the linear regression model explained 69% of the variability in intention to sell. Students with higher HIV prevention beliefs were more likely to have high intention to sell syringes to suspected IDUs than students with lower HIV prevention beliefs. Students with higher perceived negative consequences of selling were less likely to have high intention to sell than students with lower perceived negative consequences of selling. Pharmacy student who had declined one or more times to sell syringes were less likely to have high intention to sell than students who had never declined to sell syringes to suspected IDUs.

These findings support the need for pharmacy education programs to incorporate curriculum aimed at addressing factors associated with pharmacy students‟ intention to sell syringes to suspected IDUs. Such modifications can potentially increase IDU access to sterile syringes from community-based pharmacies and help prevent HIV transmission among this population.

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