Pharmacist-led screening program for an inner-city pediatric population

This study was conducted to see how inner city children are affected by asthma, hypertension, obesity, and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure. This study took place in lower socioeconomic communities throughout Pittsburgh and pharmacists and student pharmacists ran 12 health screenings on 144 children over the course of 2 years.

The study found that 16% of the children were already diagnosed with asthma before the screenings, and 18% had potential asthma. More than half of the children were not at a healthy weight (0.7% were underweight and the remaining were either overweight or obese), and 24% had abnormal blood pressure. 26% of the children had exposure to ETS comparable to that of smokers.

Over the course of this study, nearly 200 referrals were made by the pharmacists. This study is important because it shows how at risk the children in our own community are for conditions that could greatly affect their health outcomes. It also shows how critical of a role pharmacists could play in screening and preventing diseases among children who face numerous health disparities. Screening programs such as this can be implemented by pharmacists in other communities, especially those of even lower socioeconomic status than the one studied, to help lower health disparities among inner city populations of children.

Elliott JP, Harrison C, Konopka C, et al. Pharmacist-led screening program for an inner-city pediatric population. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2003;55:413-8.

2 thoughts on “Pharmacist-led screening program for an inner-city pediatric population”

  1. I found this article extremely interesting. It really shows how influential pharmacists are in the community and the impact they can have on the health of the community. The number of referrals made by pharmacists highlights just how at risk certain populations are for different types of chronic conditions. Many of these diseases are preventable and leads me to believe that if pharmacist intervention occurred earlier, they could have possibly been prevented. If these health disparities are caught at an early age, health care and medication costs can be drastically reduced. I really like how this article emphasizes the importance of the role the pharmacist plays in the community. Since the pharmacist is the most accessible health care professional, they are the first person that can identify certain diseases or other illnesses facing a population and ultimately devise a treatment plan to help combat these illnesses.

  2. I think the article you chose is very interesting because some of these conditions that we typically associate with an older population, such as hypertension, has shown up in these younger populations. It’s something that can be overlooked in the overall population. However, sub-populations that do not have the same access to care and have issues with financial stability are forced to deal with these conditions. Environmental impact has a similar to role on a person’s health as genetics.

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