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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthComputational Population & Health SciencesMethodology

Pharmacy provision of sexual and reproductive health commodities to young people: a systematic literature review and synthesis of the evidence

TitlePharmacy provision of sexual and reproductive health commodities to young people: a systematic literature review and synthesis of the evidence
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsGonsalves, L, Hindin, MJ
JournalContraception
Volume95
Pagination339-363
Date PublishedApr
ISBN Number0010-7824
Accession Number28025018
KeywordsAdolescent, contraception, Pharmacy, systematic review, Youth
Abstract

BACKGROUND: We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on youth access to, use of and quality of care of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) commodities through pharmacies. METHODS: Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol, we searched for publications from 2000 to 2016. To be eligible for inclusion, articles had to address the experiences of young people (aged 25 years and below) accessing SRH commodities (e.g., contraception, abortifacients) via pharmacies. The heterogeneity of the studies precluded meta-analysis - instead, we conducted thematic analysis. RESULTS: A total of 2842 titles were screened, and 49 met the inclusion criteria. Most (n=43) were from high-income countries, and 33 examined emergency hormonal contraception provision. Seventeen focused on experiences of pharmacy personnel in provision, while 28 assessed client experiences. Pharmacy provision of SRH commodities was appealing to and utilized by youth. Increasing access to SRH commodities for youth did not correspond to increases in risky sexual behavior. Both pharmacists and youth had reservations about the ease of access and its impact on sexual behaviors. In settings where regulations allowing pharmacy access were established, some pharmacy personnel created barriers to access or refused access entirely. DISCUSSION: With training and support, pharmacy personnel can serve as critical SRH resources to young people. Further research is needed to better understand how to capitalize on the potential of pharmacy provision of SRH commodities to young people without sacrificing qualities which make pharmacies so appealing to young people in the first place.