Promoting sexual health among women on opioid treatment in community pharmacy: A qualitative study

First published: 13/03/2019 | Last updated: March 27th, 2019

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Miss Laura Medina-Perucha

PhD Candidate in Health Psychology

Laura is a graduate in Psychology from the University of Barcelona, and she have completed an MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Bath. She has previously worked as a clinical and health psychology assistant in Spain and Mexico, and volunteered at a HIV/AIDS Unit in Canada.  She is currently a third year PhD student in Health Psychology at the University of Bath, supervised by Dr Jenny Scott, Dr Charlotte Dack, Dr Sarah Chapman, Prof Julie Barnett, and Dr Hannah Family. The main aim of her PhD is to design a sexual health service for women on opioid substitution treatment in community pharmacies. My interests include health promotion, women’s health and health inequalities. Laura is also Bath Hub Lead for the British Psychological Society and an SSA student associate.


Women on opioid substitution treatment (WRO) are at high risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne viruses (BBVs). Although opioid substitution treatment is provided by community pharmacists (CPs), little attention has been paid to exploring the role of CPs in promoting sexual health among this group of women. This talk focused on determining the acceptability of promoting sexual health within community pharmacies in England, among WRO. This talk also presented initial ideas to develop of a pharmacy-based sexual health service.

This study highlights the potential role of CPs in promoting sexual health among WRO. Overall, the findings from the present study support the development of the first pharmacy-based sexual health service for this group of women in England. However, potential barriers need to be taken into account and strategies to address them need to be developed. This study will inform the design of a service to promote the sexual health and well-being of women on opioid treatment.

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Miss Laura Medina-Perucha