A cross-sectional survey of the access of older people in the Scottish Highlands to general medical practices, community pharmacies and prescription medicines

Gordon F. Rushworth, Scott Cunningham, Sharon Pfleger, Jenny Hall, Derek Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundAccess to medicines and healthcare is more problematic in remote and rural areas.ObjectivesTo quantify issues of access to general practitioners (GPs), community pharmacies and prescribed medicines in older people resident in the Scottish Highlands.ResultsWith a response rate of 54.2%, the majority reported convenient access to GPs (89.1%) and community pharmacies (84.3%). Older age respondents (p < 0.0001) were more likely to state that their access to GP services was not convenient and those in rural areas to community pharmacies (p < 0.01). For access to prescribed medicines, those in poorer health (p < 0.001) and taking five or more regular prescribed medicines (p = 0.002) were more likely to state access not convenient. PCA identified three components of beliefs of capabilities, emotions and memory. Those with poorer health had more negative scores for all (p < 0.001). Those reporting issues of access to prescribed medicines had more negative scores for beliefs of capabilities (p < 0.001) while those of older age, living alone, and taking five or more regular prescribed medicines (all p < 0.001) had more negative scores for emotions.ConclusionWhile the majority of respondents have convenient access to their GP practice, pharmacy and prescribed medicines, there is a need for further review of the pharmaceutical care of those of older age with poorer health, living alone in the more remote and rural areas and taking five or more prescribed medicines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018



  • Rural health services
  • Access
  • Convenience
  • Prescription drugs
  • Questionnaire

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