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Access to contraception: The pharmacists role in achieving better outcomes for women

Expressions of interest are sought from potential PhD students, particularly with a pharmacy background and working knowledge of Australian pharmacy practice, who wish to explore the role of community pharmacists in enhancing women's access to effective contraception. This PhD project will utilise the MRC's framework for the development of complex interventions to develop and pilot an intervention aimed at increasing women's access to effective contraception through community pharmacy in the Australian context. There are also significant opportunities for community pharmacists to play a greater role in reproductive health, for example, when women present for provision of emergency contraception (available over-the-counter since 2002). Pharmacists could increase women’s awareness about Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) and Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTOP) and provide evidence-based information and fast track referral to a LARC provider either for emergency contraception or for ongoing contraception and, where required, to MTOP. This approach is supported by recently-released WHO guidelines recommending the expansion of pharmacists’ role in the provision of post-abortion contraception. There are, however, a number of barriers to pharmacists increasing their scope of practice including lack of training, and professional and interdisciplinary support. The student will undertake a scoping and systematic review, studies to determine pharmacists knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding enhancing women's access to effective contraception, studies examining barriers and enablers to this work and then the development and piloting of a community pharmacy based intervention. This project sits within a program of research being undertaken by Professor Mazza in SPHERE, a NHMRC-funded Centre of Research Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health for Women in Primary Care. This is the first dedicated Centre to lead research that is aimed at improving the quality, safety, and capacity of primary health care services to achieve better outcomes in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Students working under SPHERE will be supported by Professor Mazza's research team, which consists of Post Docs, PhD students, academic registrars and honours students. They will also have the opportunity to be part of a large, multidisciplinary, collaborative team of investigators, which includes prominent national and international researchers and experts working in women’s health, general practice, pharmacy, nursing, epidemiology, knowledge translation, health economics, and policy development.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here:
implementation research; contraception; pharmacy; general practice; women's health
School of Primary and Allied Health Care
Available options 
Time commitment 
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Physical location 
Notting Hill Campus
Danielle Mazza

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