Protocol for ACCESS: a qualitative study exploring barriers and facilitators to accessing the emergency contraceptive pill from community pharmacies in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • The rate of unplanned pregnancy in Australia remains high, which has contributed to Australia having one of the highest abortion rates of developed countries with an estimated 1 in 5 women having an abortion. The emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) offers a safe way of preventing unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex has occurred. While the ECP has been available over-the-counter in Australian pharmacies for over a decade, its use has not significantly increased. This paper presents a protocol for a qualitative study that aims to identify the barriers and facilitators to accessing the ECP from community pharmacies in Australia.Data will be collected through one-on-one interviews that are semistructured and in-depth. Partnerships have been established with 2 pharmacy groups and 2 women's health organisations to aid with the recruitment of women and pharmacists for data collection purposes. Interview questions explore domains from the Theoretical Domains Framework in order to assess the factors aiding and/or hindering access to ECP from community pharmacies. Data collected will be analysed using deductive content analysis. The expected benefits of this study are that it will help develop evidence-based workforce interventions to strengthen the capacity and performance of community pharmacists as key ECP providers.The findings will be disseminated to the research team and study partners, who will brainstorm ideas for interventions that would address barriers and facilitators to access identified from the interviews. Dissemination will also occur through presentations and peer-reviewed publications and the study participants will receive an executive summary of the findings. The study has been evaluated and approved by the Monash Human Research Ethics Committee.


  • Hussainy, SY
  • Ghosh, A
  • Taft, A
  • Mazza, D
  • Black, KI
  • Clifford, R
  • Gudka, S
  • Mc Namara, KP
  • Ryan, K
  • Jackson, JK

publication date

  • 2015