The pharmacists who already took the CONFIA course emphasize the efficiency of the method -they find it very interactive and clear, and a useful tool to solve cases highly similar to those they are confronted with on this specific issue.

60% of the people who approach their pharmacist in search of help complain of symptoms of low mood such as tiredness, irritability, sadness or loss of interest.1

Almost half of the 2,738 pharmacists who participated in the first edition of CONFÍA throughout Spain receive an average of 1 despondency-related consultation a da.

Almost half of the 2,738 pharmacists who participated in the first edition of CONFÍA (Pharmacy counselling and indication in mood-related consultations) throughout Spain receive an average of 1 despondency-related consultation a day. While this is an area of particular concern on account of its high prevalence, pharmacists need to update their knowledge particularly regarding action plans and how possible cases should be detected. That is why all of them have very positively perceived this course which, in addition to being online, includes practical cases encountered in the pharmacy practice.

Promoted by ESTEVE in collaboration with ÁGORA Sanitaria, the CONFÍA course is specifically designed and devised to help the pharmacist detect mood disorders and approach them more effectively. Imparted by experts in the field, the second edition of this highly practical programme will start on 9 February 2015.

Nowadays, 75% of the people who seek advice from their pharmacist have some symptom related to a mild mood disorder, a situation which is completely reversible if handled effectively. As a healthcare provider who communicates closely with users, the community pharmacist can and should play a key role.1

However, as the participants of the first edition of CONFÍA emphasized, the pharmacist needs to update his/her knowledge about this area of interest, particularly regarding action plans -that is, knowing when to give treatment or refer to the physician, and also knowing how to identify possible cases as well as the therapeutic alternatives pharmacists can offer.

A very high rate of satisfaction has been obtained regarding contents, method, duration, tutors, and solutions given to consultations. This, according to participants, have allowed them to broaden their knowledge and distinguish concepts such as depression and discouragement, and also to improve communication with the patient, identify mood alteration cases, and improve product recommendation. According to course student María del Mar Parada, "the best thing about it is personal satisfaction; knowing that the knowledge gained will at least ease the discomfort of people who seek advice and help at the pharmacy... To me, the most interesting part was the module focusing on the action plan and the different treatments".

Occupational issues account for the double of any other despondency-related cause

Almost half of the professionals who participated in CONFÍA state that they receive an average of one consultation a day related to mood alterations. Most of these consultations are related to occupational issues; in fact, this cause doubles any other. Professionals, however, also highlight consultations made by the elderly, by people under chronic medication, by caregivers, by retired people, by young mothers, by people on a diet, or by students. Regarding the latter, pharmacists point out that their number is increasing and that they seem to be those having the greatest difficulties.

The profile covers a wide spectrum, including top executives, housewives, unemployed people, patient relatives, menopausal women, people with emotional problems, young couples with a short cohabitation, or people undergoing a process of change or dehabituation.

Tiredness is usually the most frequent of the signs and symptoms that help identify despondency, followed by apathy or indifference, sleep alterations, sadness, or lack of appetite.

Customized topics designed by experts in the field

The CONFÍA programmed is addressed to community pharmacists and pharmaceutical assistants and technicians, and includes 5 different modules: Identifying the patient (most common profiles and consultations), Clinical aspects (a short description of the physiopathology of the central nervous system and of mild mood disorders), Pharmacist intervention (action plan and treatment), Counselling, and Practical application.

The course includes interactive contents -prepared by a scientific team composed of expert healthcare providers (psychiatrists, pharmacists, general practitioners)-, practical cases with feedback and useful resources for every day's work. The enrolment period for the second edition of CONFÍA is open until 9 February on the websites of Esteve and Ágora Sanitaria. The course will run from 9 February until 22 March.

The authors of the topics of CONFÍA are José Miguel Gaona, psychiatrist, medical doctor and medical psychologist; Jesús Carlos Gómez, community pharmacist and president of SEFAC; Rafael Guayta, scientific director on the board of the Barcelona Pharmacists Association; Eduardo Jiménez, community pharmacist, expert in communication and pharmaceutical management consultant; Gemma Tribó, community pharmacist and expert in nutrition, dietary supplements and pharmaceutical care; Enric Zamorano, psychiatrist and GP; and M. José Alonso, pharmacist and spokesperson on Medicinal Plants and Homeopathy for the Barcelona Pharmacists Association.


1 Montserrat Abadías Guasch*, Grupo Investigadores Estudio Energy**, Jesús C. Gómez Martínez***
* Medical Affairs. Esteve, Barcelona. * * Farmacéuticos comunitarios, España. * ** Farmacéutico comunitario, Barcelona. Estudio epidemiológico transversal. Perfiles de los pacientes con trastorno adaptativo que acuden a las farmacias comunitarias españolas.

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