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Exploring community pharmacists' experiences of surveying patients for drug utilization research purposes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy.
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, ISSN 2210-7703, E-ISSN 2210-7711, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 522-528Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background Patient self-reported data are important in drug utilization research, but often logistically difficult to collect. During 2006-2012, 72 Swedish community pharmacies regularly collected such data through structured survey interviews at the pharmacy counter, performed by the dispensing pharmacists. This study is part of a validation of that data acquisition method. Objectives (1) To explore the experiences of the pharmacists involved, (2) to explore a random or systematic exclusion of eligible patients by the pharmacists, and (3) to find areas of improvement to the applied method of surveying. Setting 72 Swedish community pharmacies, distributed all over the country. Method (a) A questionnaire was distributed to approximately 400 dispensing pharmacists at the pharmacies conducting the patient surveys; (b) semi-structured telephone interviews conducted with 19 pharmacists at 12 of the pharmacies. Main outcome measure Proportions of pharmacists reporting positive and negative experiences of structured survey interviews, the nature of their experiences, proportion of pharmacists reporting to avoid survey interviews and reasons for doing so, and suggested areas of improvement. Results A total of 126 pharmacists (32 %) completed the questionnaire. A majority (82 %) reported positive experiences of interviewing. In addition to the data generated as the primary goal of surveying, secondary benefits such as an improved patient-pharmacist dialogue and an increased detection and resolution of drug related problems were reported. However, a majority (63 %) of the pharmacists also reported negative experiences related to a perceived lack of time to fulfil one's professional obligations. Almost half of the pharmacists (44 %) in the survey admitted that they occasionally avoided interviewing eligible patients, due to the immediate increase in work load. The limited availability of staff resources was the most apparent area of improvement. Conclusion Under certain conditions, community pharmacies are feasible as a setting for conducting patient surveys in drug utilization research, and dispensing pharmacists suitable for conducting them. When regular dispensing staff perform the survey interviews as a part of the drug dispensing process, additional resources to manage the immediate increase in work load have to be considered. Otherwise, data quality may be compromised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 37, no 3, p. 522-528
Keyword [en]
Community pharmacy, Interview, Pharmacist, Survey, Sweden
National Category
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-252961DOI: 10.1007/s11096-015-0088-1ISI: 000353472100016PubMedID: 25736386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-252961DiVA, id: diva2:812821
Available from: 2015-05-20 Created: 2015-05-18 Last updated: 2018-01-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Surveys and services: The feasibility of conducting research in Swedish community pharmacies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Surveys and services: The feasibility of conducting research in Swedish community pharmacies
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For the past decades, there has been a shift in community pharmacy practice from dispensing and compounding towards provision of pharmacy services. Research is important to generate evidence for new services within pharmacy practice. Pharmacy practice research can be divided in two main themes: research related to pharmacy as a data source and to the pharmacy as the object of research, respectively.

The purpose of this thesis is to increase the understanding of the conditions required for successful involvement of Swedish community pharmacy staff in pharmacy-based research, and to evaluate the data generated through a certain type of research: pharmacy-based patient surveys on drug utilization.

Specific aims were to evaluate if there is a selection bias in drug utilization surveys conducted in Swedish community pharmacies, to explore the experiences of pharmacists either conducting the surveys or recruiting patients to research on adherence-promoting services, and to describe barriers and facilitators to conducting research in community pharmacies.

Data were collected via pharmacy-based patient surveys, dispensing data, individual interviews, a cross-sectional staff survey and focus group interviews.

In community pharmacy-based surveys or services research, with the dispensed drug as the trigger for inclusion, patients aged 75 years or older are underrepresented since they less often visit the pharmacy to redeem their prescriptions themselves. Due to their perceived workload, dispensing pharmacists sometimes avoid including patients perceived as complex due to age, polypharmacy or communication difficulties. These processes contribute to a healthy selection effect in both types of research and pharmacy services not reaching the patients in most need of support with their medication.

The pharmacists were generally positive to conducting surveys and being involved in services research, but reported a perceived lack of sufficient communication and research skills, and a lack of time.

Since competing commercial priorities hamper pharmacists’ research involvement, separate research funding is an important facilitator. For surveys to include all eligible patients, services to be relevant for both practice and patients and to target the patients in most need of support with their medication, research collaboration with healthcare, other professions and across pharmacies is also necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 67
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Pharmacy, ISSN 1651-6192 ; 244
Keyword
Pharmacy, Community pharmacy, Pharmaceutical services, Drug utilization research, Survey, Patient, Pharmaceutical care, Feasibility, Sweden
National Category
Social and Clinical Pharmacy
Research subject
Social Pharmacy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-338811 (URN)978-91-513-0213-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-10, Auditorium Minus, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-01-19 Last updated: 2018-03-22

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