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1.  A theory-informed approach to mental health care capacity building for pharmacists 
Background
Pharmacists are knowledgeable, accessible health care professionals who can provide services that improve outcomes in mental health care. Various challenges and opportunities can exist in pharmacy practice to hinder or support pharmacists’ efforts. We used a theory-informed approach to development and implementation of a capacity-building program to enhance pharmacists’ roles in mental health care.
Methods
Theories and frameworks including the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, the Theoretical Domains Framework, and the Behaviour Change Wheel were used to inform the conceptualization, development, and implementation of a capacity-building program to enhance pharmacists’ roles in mental health care.
Results
The More Than Meds program was developed and implemented through an iterative process. The main program components included: an education and training day; use of a train-the-trainer approach from partnerships with pharmacists and people with lived experience of mental illness; development of a community of practice through email communications, a website, and a newsletter; and use of educational outreach delivered by pharmacists. Theories and frameworks used throughout the program’s development and implementation facilitated a means to conceptualize the component parts of the program as well as its overall presence as a whole from inception through evolution in implementation. Using theoretical foundations for the program enabled critical consideration and understanding of issues related to trialability and adaptability of the program.
Conclusions
Theory was essential to the underlying development and implementation of a capacity-building program for enhancing services by pharmacists for people with lived experience of mental illness. Lessons learned from the development and implementation of this program are informing current research and evolution of the program.
doi:10.1186/1752-4458-8-46
PMCID: PMC4254206  PMID: 25473416
Community pharmacy; Mental illness; Behaviour Change Wheel; Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research
2.  Public perception on the role of community pharmacists in self-medication and self-care in Hong Kong 
Background
The choices for self-medication in Hong Kong are much diversified, including western and Chinese medicines and food supplements. This study was to examine Hong Kong public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding self-medication, self-care and the role of pharmacists in self-care.
Methods
A cross-sectional phone survey was conducted, inviting people aged 18 or older to complete a 37-item questionnaire that was developed based on the Thematic Household surveys in Hong Kong, findings of the health prorfessional focus group discussions on pharmacist-led patient self management and literature. Telephone numbers were randomly selected from residential phone directories. Trained interviewers invited eligible persons to participate using the "last birthday method". Associations of demographic characteristics with knowledge, attitudes and beliefs on self-medication, self-care and role of pharmacists, and spending on over-the-counter (OTC) products were analysed statistically.
Results
A total of 1, 560 phone calls were successfully made and 1, 104 respondents completed the survey which indicated a response rate of 70.8%. 63.1% had adequate knowledge on using OTC products. Those who had no formal education/had attended primary education (OR = 3.19, 95%CI 1.78-5.72; p < 0.001), had attended secondary education (OR = 1.50, 95%CI 1.03-2.19; p = 0.035), and aged ≥60 years (OR = 1.82, 95% CI 1.02-3.26; p = 0.042) were more likely to have inadequate knowledge on self-medication. People with chronic disease also tended to spend more than HKD100 on western (OR = 3.58, 95%CI 1.58-8.09; p = 0.002) and Chinese OTC products (OR = 2.94, 95%CI 1.08-7.95; p = 0.034). 94.6% believed that patients with chronic illnesses should self-manage their diseases. 68% agreed that they would consult a pharmacist before using OTC product but only 45% agreed that pharmacists could play a leading role in self-care. Most common reasons against pharmacist consultation on self-medication and self-care were uncertainty over the role of pharmacists and low acceptance level of pharmacists.
Conclusions
The majority of respondents supported patients with chronic illness to self-manage their diseases but less than half agreed to use a pharmacist-led approach in self-care. The government should consider developing doctors-pharmacists partnership programs in the community, enhancing the role of pharmacists in primary care and providing education to patients to improve their awareness on the role of pharmacists in self-medication and self-care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6904-11-19
PMCID: PMC3252282  PMID: 22118309
3.  Pharmacists’ Recommendations to Improve Care Transitions 
The Annals of pharmacotherapy  2012;46(9):1152-1159.
Background
Increasingly, hospitals are implementing multi-faceted programs to improve medication reconciliation and transitions of care, often involving pharmacists.
Objective
To help delineate the optimal role of pharmacists in this context, this qualitative study assessed pharmacists’ views on their roles in hospital-based medication reconciliation and discharge counseling. We also provide pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions.
Methods
Eleven study pharmacists at two hospitals who participated in the Pharmacist Intervention for Low Literacy in Cardiovascular Disease (PILL-CVD) study completed semi-structured one-on-one interviews, which were coded systematically in NVivo. Pharmacists provided their perspectives on admission and discharge medication reconciliation, in-hospital patient counseling, provision of simple medication adherence aids (e.g., pill box, illustrated daily medication schedule), and telephone follow-up.
Results
Pharmacists considered medication reconciliation, though time-consuming, to be their most important role in improving care transitions, particularly through detection of errors in the admission medication history that required correction. They also identified patients with poor understanding of their medications, who required additional counseling. Providing adherence aids was felt to be highly valuable for patients with low health literacy, though less useful for patients with adequate health literacy. Pharmacists noted that having trained administrative staff conduct the initial post-discharge follow-up call to screen for issues and triage which patients needed pharmacist follow-up was helpful and an efficient use of resources. Pharmacists’ recommendations for improving care transitions included clear communication among team members, protected time for discharge counseling, patient and family engagement in discharge counseling, and provision of patient education materials.
Conclusion
Pharmacists are well-positioned to participate in hospital-based medication reconciliation, identify patients with poor medication understanding or adherence, and provide tailored patient counseling to improve transitions of care. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in other settings, and to determine the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of different models of pharmacist involvement.
doi:10.1345/aph.1Q641
PMCID: PMC3575733  PMID: 22872752
pharmacist; health literacy; care transitions; medication reconciliation; qualitative research
4.  A Depression Training Session With Consumer Educators to Reduce Stigmatizing Views and Improve Pharmacists’ Depression Care Attitudes and Practices 
Objective. To measure the impact of a depression training day for pharmacists that included a 75-minute session with a consumer educator.
Design. The training day included interactive lectures on depression; the effects and side effects of and indications for the use of antidepressants; adherence issues; non-drug treatment options for depression; and basic skills in communication. Pharmacists also participated in a session with a consumer educator and in counseling exercises that included role playing.
Assessment. The study used a randomized, clustered, comparative design to measure pharmacists' stigma, attitudes, and current practice related to the provision of pharmaceutical care to people with depression. Mean scores for depression-care practice after the training session were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group. Analysis of the changes between baseline and postintervention measures in both the control and intervention groups confirmed a significant difference in the change in both social distance and practice but no significant difference in the change in attitude between the 2 groups of pharmacists.
Conclusion. A continuing-education depression training day for pharmacists that involve consumer educators may improve the care delivered in the community pharmacy to people with depression.
doi:10.5688/ajpe776120
PMCID: PMC3748301  PMID: 23966723
community pharmacy; consumer educator; depression; pharmaceutical care; stigma; attitude
5.  New Roles for Pharmacists in Community Mental Health Care: A Narrative Review 
Medicines are a major treatment modality for many mental illnesses, and with the growing burden of mental disorders worldwide pharmacists are ideally positioned to play a greater role in supporting people with a mental illness. This narrative review aims to describe the evidence for pharmacist-delivered services in mental health care and address the barriers and facilitators to increasing the uptake of pharmacist services as part of the broader mental health care team. This narrative review is divided into three main sections: (1) the role of the pharmacist in mental health care in multidisciplinary teams and in supporting early detection of mental illness; (2) the pharmacists’ role in supporting quality use of medicines in medication review, strategies to improve medication adherence and antipsychotic polypharmacy, and shared decision making; and (3) barriers and facilitators to the implementation of mental health pharmacy services with a focus on organizational culture and mental health stigma. In the first section, the review presents new roles for pharmacists within multidisciplinary teams, such as in case conferencing or collaborative drug therapy management; and new roles that would benefit from increased pharmacist involvement, such as the early detection of mental health conditions, development of care plans and follow up of people with mental health problems. The second section describes the impact of medication review services and other pharmacist-led interventions designed to reduce inappropriate use of psychotropic medicines and improve medication adherence. Other new potential roles discussed include the management of antipsychotic polypharmacy and involvement in patient-centered care. Finally, barriers related to pharmacists’ attitudes, stigma and skills in the care of patients with mental health problems and barriers affecting pharmacist-physician collaboration are described, along with strategies to reduce mental health stigma.
doi:10.3390/ijerph111010967
PMCID: PMC4211017  PMID: 25337943
pharmacist; mental health care; quality use of medicines; community pharmacy; service implementation
6.  Pharmacists’ communication with Spanish-speaking patients: a review of the literature to establish an agenda for future research 
Background
Spanish-speaking people represent more than 12% of the total population in the United States and are poised to become the largest minority group in the U.S. by 2015. Although researchers have studied pharmacist-patient communication for approximately 30 years, little emphasis has been placed on the interactions between pharmacists and Spanish-speaking patients.
Objective
The objectives of this review are 1) to describe empirical studies on Spanish-speaking patient/pharmacist communication examined relative to patient factors, pharmacist factors, and environmental factors that may influence Spanish-speaking patient/pharmacist communication and 2) to integrate medical and nursing literature to generate a research agenda for future study in this area.
Methods
We compiled articles from a systematic review of (1) CINAHL, International Pharmacy Abstracts, Pub Med, and Web of Knowledge databases using “Hispanic limited English proficiency”, “Latino limited English proficiency”, “language-assistance services”, “Spanish-speaking patients”, “Latino patients”, “Spanish-speaking health literacy”, “pharmacy health literacy”, “patient-provider communication”, “pharmacy language barriers”, (2) bibliographies of selected articles.
Results
This search generated 1,174 articles, 7 of which met the inclusion criteria. We categorized the results into four topic areas: “Spanish-speaking patient literacy,” “pharmacists knowledge of/proficiency in the Spanish language,” “pharmacy resources to overcome language barriers,” and “pharmacists’ attitudes towards communicating with Spanish-speaking patients.”
Conclusions
These studies provide a macroscopic look at the linguistic services offered in pharmacies, gaps in services, and their subsequent impact on pharmacists and patients. Future research should investigate Spanish-speaking patients’ literacy issues, pharmacy staff language skills, factors that influence pharmacists’ counseling, and language assistance programs for pharmacists and patients. Furthermore, these studies need to be conducted in large Hispanic/Latino populated areas where positive service models are likely to be present. Addressing these issues will provide pharmacists and pharmacies with information to overcome language barriers and provide Spanish-speaking patients with quality care.
doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2008.05.005
PMCID: PMC2875142  PMID: 19524859
Hispanic limited English proficiency; language-assistance services; Spanish-speaking patients; patient-provider communication; pharmacy language barriers
7.  Consumer-led Mental Health Education for Pharmacy Students 
Objective
To evaluate a consumer-led teaching intervention to reduce pharmacy students' stigma towards depression and schizophrenia, and improve attitudes toward providing pharmaceutical care for consumers with mental illness.
Design
Third-year bachelor of pharmacy degree students were given a series of mental health lectures, undertook supervised weekly placements in the community pharmacy setting, and attended a tutorial led by trained mental health consumer educators.
Assessment
A previously validated 26-item survey instrument was administered at baseline, 6 weeks postintervention, and 12 months postintervention, and 3 focus groups were conducted. Survey instruments were completed by 225 students at baseline, 230 students postintervention, and 228 students at 12 months. Students' stigma decreased (p < 0.05) and their attitudes toward the provision of pharmaceutical services to consumers with a mental illness showed significant improvements (p < 0.05). These improvements were maintained at the 12-month follow-up. Four themes emerged from the focus groups: knowledge and experience of mental illness, mental health stigma, impacts on attitudes and self-reported behavior, and the role of the pharmacist in mental healthcare.
Conclusions
Consumer-led education for pharmacy students may provide a sustainable reduction in stigma and improve attitudes towards providing pharmaceutical services to consumers with a mental illness.
PMCID: PMC2996757  PMID: 21301601
consumer; attitude; stigma; depression; schizophrenia; mental health; pharmacy student
8.  Is the pharmacy profession innovative enough?: meeting the needs of Australian residents with chronic conditions and their carers using the nominal group technique 
Background
Community pharmacies are ideally located as a source of support for people with chronic conditions. Yet, we have limited insight into what innovative pharmacy services would support this consumer group to manage their condition/s. The aim of this study was to identify what innovations people with chronic conditions and their carers want from their ideal community pharmacy, and compare with what pharmacists and pharmacy support staff think consumers want.
Methods
We elicited ideas using the nominal group technique. Participants included people with chronic conditions, unpaid carers, pharmacists and pharmacy support staff, in four regions of Australia. Themes were identified via thematic analysis using the constant comparison method.
Results
Fifteen consumer/carer, four pharmacist and two pharmacy support staff groups were conducted. Two overarching themes were identified: extended scope of practice for the pharmacist and new or improved pharmacy services. The most innovative role for Australian pharmacists was medication continuance, within a limited time-frame. Consumers and carers wanted improved access to pharmacists, but this did not necessarily align with a faster or automated dispensing service. Other ideas included streamlined access to prescriptions via medication reminders, electronic prescriptions and a chronic illness card.
Conclusions
This study provides further support for extending the pharmacist’s role in medication continuance, particularly as it represents the consumer’s voice. How this is done, or the methods used, needs to optimise patient safety. A range of innovative strategies were proposed and Australian community pharmacies should advocate for and implement innovative approaches to improve access and ensure continuity of care.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-476
PMCID: PMC4282516  PMID: 25281284
Pharmacies; Nominal group technique; Prescribing; Innovation; Chronic disease; Australia
9.  Patients’ perception, views and satisfaction with pharmacists’ role as health care provider in community pharmacy setting at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Objectives
This study will provide guiding information about the population perception, views and satisfaction with pharmacist’s performance as health care provider in the community pharmacy setting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Method
The study was conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from July through December 2010. A total of 125 community pharmacies in Riyadh city were randomly selected according to their geographical distribution (north, south, east, and west). They represent about 10–15% of all community pharmacies in the city. The questionnaire composed of 8 items about patients’ views and satisfaction with the pharmacists’ role in the current community pharmacy practice. The questionnaire was coded, checked for accuracy and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois).
Results
The response rate was almost 85% where 2000 patients were approached and 1699 of them responded to our questionnaire. The majority of respondents is young adults and adults (82.8%), male (67.5%) and married (66.9%). Seventy one percent of respondents assured that community pharmacist is available in the working while only 37.3% of respondents perceived the pharmacist as a mere vendor. About 38% assured sou moto counseling by the pharmacist, 35% reported pharmacist plays an active role in their compliances to treatments, 43% acknowledged the role of pharmacist in solving medication related problems, 34% considered the pharmacist as a health awareness provider and 44.6% felt that pharmacist is indispensable and an effective part of the health care system.
Conclusion
The image and professional performance of community pharmacist are improving in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi patients show better satisfaction, perception and appreciation of the pharmacists’ role in the health care team. However, extra efforts should be paid to improve the clinical skills of the community pharmacists. Community pharmacists need to be able to reach out to patient, assess their hesitations and promptly offer solution which was appreciated by the patients as the survey indicates. They should play a pro-active role in becoming an effective and indispensable part of health care. Furthermore, they should be able to advice, guide, direct and persuade the patient to comply correct usage of drugs. Finally, community pharmacists should equip themselves with appropriate knowledge and competencies in order to tender efficient and outstanding pharmaceutical health care.
doi:10.1016/j.jsps.2012.05.007
PMCID: PMC3745196  PMID: 23960807
Community; Pharmacist; Satisfaction; Care; Drug; Perception
10.  Public health in community pharmacy: A systematic review of pharmacist and consumer views 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:582.
Background
The increasing involvement of pharmacists in public health will require changes in the behaviour of both pharmacists and the general public. A great deal of research has shown that attitudes and beliefs are important determinants of behaviour. This review aims to examine the beliefs and attitudes of pharmacists and consumers towards pharmaceutical public health in order to inform how best to support and improve this service.
Methods
Five electronic databases were searched for articles published in English between 2001 and 2010. Titles and abstracts were screened by one researcher according to the inclusion criteria. Papers were included if they assessed pharmacy staff or consumer attitudes towards pharmaceutical public health. Full papers identified for inclusion were assessed by a second researcher and data were extracted by one researcher.
Results
From the 5628 papers identified, 63 studies in 67 papers were included. Pharmacy staff: Most pharmacists viewed public health services as important and part of their role but secondary to medicine related roles. Pharmacists' confidence in providing public health services was on the whole average to low. Time was consistently identified as a barrier to providing public health services. Lack of an adequate counselling space, lack of demand and expectation of a negative reaction from customers were also reported by some pharmacists as barriers. A need for further training was identified in relation to a number of public health services. Consumers: Most pharmacy users had never been offered public health services by their pharmacist and did not expect to be offered. Consumers viewed pharmacists as appropriate providers of public health advice but had mixed views on the pharmacists' ability to do this. Satisfaction was found to be high in those that had experienced pharmaceutical public health
Conclusions
There has been little change in customer and pharmacist attitudes since reviews conducted nearly 10 years previously. In order to improve the public health services provided in community pharmacy, training must aim to increase pharmacists' confidence in providing these services. Confident, well trained pharmacists should be able to offer public health service more proactively which is likely to have a positive impact on customer attitudes and health.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-582
PMCID: PMC3146877  PMID: 21777456
11.  e-Health, m-Health and healthier social media reform: the big scale view 
Introduction
In the upcoming decade, digital platforms will be the backbone of a strategic revolution in the way medical services are provided, affecting both healthcare providers and patients. Digital-based patient-centered healthcare services allow patients to actively participate in managing their own care, in times of health as well as illness, using personally tailored interactive tools. Such empowerment is expected to increase patients’ willingness to adopt actions and lifestyles that promote health as well as improve follow-up and compliance with treatment in cases of chronic illness. Clalit Health Services (CHS) is the largest HMO in Israel and second largest world-wide. Through its 14 hospitals, 1300 primary and specialized clinics, and 650 pharmacies, CHS provides comprehensive medical care to the majority of Israel’s population (above 4 million members). CHS e-Health wing focuses on deepening patient involvement in managing health, through personalized digital interactive tools. Currently, CHS e-Health wing provides e-health services for 1.56 million unique patients monthly with 2.4 million interactions every month (August 2011). Successful implementation of e-Health solutions is not a sum of technology, innovation and health; rather it’s the expertise of tailoring knowledge and leadership capabilities in multidisciplinary areas: clinical, ethical, psychological, legal, comprehension of patient and medical team engagement etc. The Google Health case excellently demonstrates this point. On the other hand, our success with CHS is a demonstration that e-Health can be enrolled effectively and fast with huge benefits for both patients and medical teams, and with a robust business model.
CHS e-Health core components
They include:
1. The personal health record layer (what the patient can see) presents patients with their own medical history as well as the medical history of their preadult children, including diagnoses, allergies, vaccinations, laboratory results with interpretations in layman’s terms, medications with clear, straightforward explanations regarding dosing instructions, important side effects, contraindications, such as lactation etc., and other important medical information. All personal e-Health services require identification and authorization.
2. The personal knowledge layer (what the patient should know) presents patients with personally tailored recommendations for preventative medicine and health promotion. For example, diabetic patients are push notified regarding their yearly eye exam. The various health recommendations include: occult blood testing, mammography, lipid profile etc. Each recommendation contains textual, visual and interactive content components in order to promote engagement and motivate the patient to actually change his health behaviour.
3. The personal health services layer (what the patient can do) enables patients to schedule clinic visits, order chronic prescriptions, e-consult their physician via secured e-mail, set SMS medication reminders, e-consult a pharmacist regarding personal medications. Consultants’ answers are sent securely to the patients’ personal mobile device.
On December 2009 CHS launched secured, web based, synchronous medical consultation via video conference. Currently 11,780 e-visits are performed monthly (May 2011). The medical encounter includes e-prescription and referral capabilities which are biometrically signed by the physician. On December 2010 CHS launched a unique mobile health platform, which is one of the most comprehensive personal m-Health applications world-wide. An essential advantage of mobile devices is their potential to bridge the digital divide. Currently, CHS m-Health platform is used by more than 45,000 unique users, with 75,000 laboratory results views/month, 1100 m-consultations/month and 9000 physician visit scheduling/month.
4. The Bio-Sensing layer (what physiological data the patient can populate) includes diagnostic means that allow remote physical examination, bio-sensors that broadcast various physiological measurements, and smart homecare devices, such as e-Pill boxes that gives seniors, patients and their caregivers the ability to stay at home and live life to its fullest. Monitored data is automatically transmitted to the patient’s Personal Health Record and to relevant medical personnel.
The monitoring layer is embedded in the chronic disease management platform, and in the interactive health promotion and wellness platform. It includes tailoring of consumer-oriented medical devices and service provided by various professional personnel—physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians and more.
5. The Social layer (what the patient can share). Social media networks triggered an essential change at the humanity ‘genome’ level, yet to be further defined in the upcoming years. Social media has huge potential in promoting health as it combines fun, simple yet extraordinary user experience, and bio-social-feedback. There are two major challenges in leveraging health care through social networks:
a. Our personal health information is the cornerstone for personalizing healthier lifestyle, disease management and preventative medicine. We naturally see our personal health data as a super-private territory. So, how do we bring the power of our private health information, currently locked within our Personal Health Record, into social media networks without offending basic privacy issues?
b. Disease management and preventive medicine are currently neither considered ‘cool’ nor ‘fun’ or ‘potentially highly viral’ activities; yet, health is a major issue of everybody’s life. It seems like we are missing a crucial element with a huge potential in health behavioural change—the Fun Theory. Social media platforms comprehends user experience tools that potentially could break current misconception, and engage people in the daily task of taking better care of themselves.
CHS e-Health innovation team characterized several break-through applications in this unexplored territory within social media networks, fusing personal health and social media platforms without offending privacy. One of the most crucial issues regarding adoption of e-health and m-health platforms is change management. Being a ‘hot’ innovative ‘gadget’ is far from sufficient for changing health behaviours at the individual and population levels.
CHS health behaviour change management methodology includes 4 core elements:
1. Engaging two completely different populations: patients, and medical teams. e-Health applications must present true added value for both medical teams and patients, engaging them through understanding and assimilating “what’s really in it for me”. Medical teams are further subdivided into physicians, nurses, pharmacists and administrative personnel—each with their own driving incentive. Resistance to change is an obstacle in many fields but it is particularly true in the conservative health industry. To successfully manage a large scale persuasive process, we treat intra-organizational human resources as “Change Agents”. Harnessing the persuasive power of ~40,000 employees requires engaging them as the primary target group. Successful recruitment has the potential of converting each patient-medical team interaction into an exposure opportunity to the new era of participatory medicine via e-health and m-health channels.
2. Implementation waves: every group of digital health products that are released at the same time are seen as one project. Each implementation wave leverages the focus of the organization and target populations to a defined time span. There are three major and three minor implementation waves a year.
3. Change-Support Arrow: a structured infrastructure for every implementation wave. The sub-stages in this strategy include:
Cross organizational mapping and identification of early adopters and stakeholders relevant to the implementation wave
Mapping positive or negative perceptions and designing specific marketing approaches for the distinct target groups
Intra and extra organizational marketing
Conducting intensive training and presentation sessions for groups of implementers
Running conflict-prevention activities, such as advanced tackling of potential union resistance
Training change-agents with resistance-management behavioural techniques, focused intervention for specific incidents and for key opinion leaders
Extensive presence in the clinics during the launch period, etc.
The entire process is monitored and managed continuously by a review team.
4. Closing Phase: each wave is analyzed and a “lessons-learned” session concludes the changes required in the modus operandi of the e-health project team.
PMCID: PMC3571141
e-Health; mobile health; personal health record; online visit; patient empowerment; knowledge prescription
12.  Community pharmacy services to optimise the use of medications for mental illness: a systematic review 
The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate the impact of pharmacist delivered community-based services to optimise the use of medications for mental illness. Twenty-two controlled (randomised and non-randomised) studies of pharmacists' interventions in community and residential aged care settings identified in international scientific literature were included for review. Papers were assessed for study design, service recipient, country of origin, intervention type, number of participating pharmacists, methodological quality and outcome measurement. Three studies showed that pharmacists' medication counselling and treatment monitoring can improve adherence to antidepressant medications among those commencing treatment when calculated using an intention-to-treat analysis. Four trials demonstrated that pharmacist conducted medication reviews may reduce the number of potentially inappropriate medications prescribed to those at high risk of medication misadventure. The results of this review provide some evidence that pharmacists can contribute to optimising the use of medications for mental illness in the community setting. However, more well designed studies are needed to assess the impact of pharmacists as members of community mental health teams and as providers of comprehensive medicines information to people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
doi:10.1186/1743-8462-2-29
PMCID: PMC1345690  PMID: 16336646
13.  Adherence: a review of education, research, practice and policy in Spain 
Pharmacy Practice  2009;7(3):125-138.
Aims:
To describe medication adherence education, practice, research and policy efforts carried out by pharmacists in Spain in the last decade.
Methods:
A literature review using Medline and Embase was conducted covering the last ten years. Additional pharmaceutical bibliographic sources in Spain were consulted to retrieve articles of interest from the last decade. Articles were included if a pharmacist was involved and if medication adherence was measured or there was any direct or indirect pharmacist intervention in monitoring and/or improving adherence. Articles focusing on the development of tools for adherence assessment were collected. Pre- and post-graduate pharmacy training programs were also reviewed through the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science website. Information regarding policy issues was gathered from the Spanish and Autonomous Communities of Education and Health Ministries websites.
Results:
Pharmacists receive no specific training focused on adherence. There is no specific government policies for pharmacists in Spain related to medication adherence regardless of their practice setting. A total of 24 research studies met our inclusion criteria. Of these, 10 involved pharmacist intervention in monitoring and/or improving adherence and 14 assessed only adherence. Ten studies involved hospital pharmacists working in collaboration with another healthcare professional.
Conclusions:
At present in Spain, the investigative role of the pharmacist is not well developed in the area of medication adherence. Adherence improvement services provided to patients by pharmacists are not implemented in a systematic way. However, recent efforts to implement new initiatives in this area may provide the basis for offering new cognitive services aimed at improving patient adherence in the near future.
PMCID: PMC4139043  PMID: 25143789
Medication Adherence; Pharmacists; Spain
14.  Pharmacist and clinician attitudes toward use of a web-application to support co-management of post-exposure prophylaxis patients 
Objectives
To qualitatively explore clinician and pharmacist attitudes toward use of a web-application virtual pharmacist-clinician partnership (VPCP) to assist with co-managed care of illicit drug-using patients prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
Design
Qualitative, descriptive, non-experimental study.
Setting
New York City (NYC) from February 2011 to March 2012.
Participants
4 pharmacists and 9 clinicians.
Main outcome measure
Prior to VPCP implementation in selected study pharmacies in NYC, we qualitatively explored: 1) the potential impact of the VPCP on pharmacist-clinician communication, and 2) potential barriers to use of the VPCP when co-managing PEP patients among pharmacists and clinicians.
Results
Pharmacists and clinicians were supportive of an interactive web-application that would expand the role of pharmacists to include assistance with PEP access and patient management. Participants noted that the VPCP would facilitate communication between pharmacists and clinicians and have potential to support adherence among patients. Pharmacists and clinicians were concerned about not having time to use the VPCP and security of patient information on the site. Pharmacist and clinician concerns informed final development of the VPCP including creation of a user-friendly interface, linkage to users’ email accounts for timeline notification, and attention to security.
Conclusion
Use of web-based technology to support communication between pharmacists and clinicians was seen as being a potentially feasible method for improving patient care, particularly in the delivery of PEP to drug users and other high risk groups. These findings highlight the need for further study of a technology-supported partnership, particularly for co-management of patients who face challenges with adherence.
doi:10.1331/JAPhA.2013.12208
PMCID: PMC3899846  PMID: 24185430
15.  Non-Specialist Psychosocial Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Intellectual Disability or Lower-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(12):e1001572.
In a systematic review, Brian Reichow and colleagues assess the evidence that non-specialist care providers in community settings can provide effective interventions for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The development of effective treatments for use by non-specialists is listed among the top research priorities for improving the lives of people with mental illness worldwide. The purpose of this review is to appraise which interventions for children with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders delivered by non-specialist care providers in community settings produce benefits when compared to either a no-treatment control group or treatment-as-usual comparator.
Methods and Findings
We systematically searched electronic databases through 24 June 2013 to locate prospective controlled studies of psychosocial interventions delivered by non-specialist providers to children with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders. We screened 234 full papers, of which 34 articles describing 29 studies involving 1,305 participants were included. A majority of the studies included children exclusively with a diagnosis of lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders (15 of 29, 52%). Fifteen of twenty-nine studies (52%) were randomized controlled trials and just under half of all effect sizes (29 of 59, 49%) were greater than 0.50, of which 18 (62%) were statistically significant. For behavior analytic interventions, the best outcomes were shown for development and daily skills; cognitive rehabilitation, training, and support interventions were found to be most effective for improving developmental outcomes, and parent training interventions to be most effective for improving developmental, behavioral, and family outcomes. We also conducted additional subgroup analyses using harvest plots. Limitations include the studies' potential for performance bias and that few were conducted in lower- and middle-income countries.
Conclusions
The findings of this review support the delivery of psychosocial interventions by non-specialist providers to children who have intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders. Given the scarcity of specialists in many low-resource settings, including many lower- and middle-income countries, these findings may provide guidance for scale-up efforts for improving outcomes for children with developmental disorders or lower-functioning autism spectrum disorders.
Protocol Registration
PROSPERO CRD42012002641
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Newborn babies are helpless, but over the first few years of life, they acquire motor (movement) skills, language (communication) skills, cognitive (thinking) skills, and social (interpersonal interaction) skills. Individual aspects of these skills are usually acquired at specific ages, but children with a development disorder such as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or intellectual disability (mental retardation) fail to reach these “milestones” because of impaired or delayed brain maturation. Autism, Asperger syndrome, and other ASDs (also called pervasive developmental disorders) affect about 1% of the UK and US populations and are characterized by abnormalities in interactions and communication with other people (reciprocal socio-communicative interactions; for example, some children with autism reject physical affection and fail to develop useful speech) and a restricted, stereotyped, repetitive repertoire of interests (for example, obsessive accumulation of facts about unusual topics). About half of individuals with an ASD also have an intellectual disability—a reduced overall level of intelligence characterized by impairment of the skills that are normally acquired during early life. Such individuals have what is called lower-functioning ASD.
Why Was This Study Done?
Most of the children affected by developmental disorders live in low- and middle-income countries where there are few services available to help them achieve their full potential and where little research has been done to identify the most effective treatments. The development of effective treatments for use by non-specialists (for example, teachers and parents) is necessary to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses worldwide, but particularly in resource-limited settings where psychiatrists, psychologists, and other specialists are scarce. In this systematic review, the researchers investigated which psychosocial interventions for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning ASDs delivered by non-specialist providers in community settings produce improvements in development, daily skills, school performance, behavior, or family outcomes when compared to usual care (the control condition). A systematic review identifies all the research on a given topic using predefined criteria; psychosocial interventions are defined as therapy, education, training, or support aimed at improving behavior, overall development, or specific life skills without the use of drugs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 29 controlled studies (investigations with an intervention group and a control group) that examined the effects of various psychosocial interventions delivered by non-specialist providers to children (under 18 years old) who had a lower-functioning ASD or intellectual disability. The researchers retrieved information on the participants, design and methods, findings, and intervention characteristics for each study, and calculated effect sizes—a measure of the effectiveness of a test intervention relative to a control intervention—for several outcomes for each intervention. Across the studies, three-quarters of the effect size estimates were positive, and nearly half were greater than 0.50; effect sizes of less than 0.2, 0.2–0.5, and greater than 0.5 indicate that an intervention has no, a small, or a medium-to-large effect, respectively. For behavior analytic interventions (which aim to improve socially significant behavior by systematically analyzing behavior), the largest effect sizes were seen for development and daily skills. Cognitive rehabilitation, training, and support (interventions that facilitates the relearning of lost or altered cognitive skills) produced good improvements in developmental outcomes such as standardized IQ tests in children aged 6–11 years old. Finally, parental training interventions (which teach parents how to provide therapy services for their child) had strong effects on developmental, behavioral, and family outcomes.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Because few of the studies included in this systematic review were undertaken in low- and middle-income countries, the review's findings may not be generalizable to children living in resource-limited settings. Moreover, other characteristics of the included studies may limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings support the delivery of psychosocial interventions by non-specialist providers to children who have intellectual disabilities or a lower-functioning ASD, and indicate which interventions are likely to produce the largest improvements in developmental, behavioral, and family outcomes. Further studies are needed, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, to confirm these findings, but given that specialists are scarce in many resource-limited settings, these findings may help to inform the implementation of programs to improve outcomes for children with intellectual disabilities or lower-functioning ASDs in low- and middle-income countries.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001572.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Bello-Mojeed and Bakare
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information (in English and Spanish) on developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability
The US National Institute of Mental Health also provides detailed information about autism spectrum disorders, including the publication “A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder”
Autism Speaks, a US non-profit organization, provides information about all aspects of autism spectrum disorders and includes information on the Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative
The National Autistic Society, a UK charity, provides information about all aspects of autism spectrum disorders and includes personal stories about living with these conditions
The UK National Health Service Choices website has an interactive guide to child development and information about autism and Asperger syndrome, including personal stories, and about learning disabilities
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides clinical guidelines for the management and support of children with autism spectrum disorders
The World Health Organization provides information on its Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP), which includes recommendations on the management of developmental disorders by non-specialist providers; the mhGAP Evidence Resource Center provides evidence reviews for parent skills training for management of children with intellectual disabilities and pervasive developmental disorders and interventions for management of children with intellectual disabilities
PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews, provides more information about this systematic review
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001572
PMCID: PMC3866092  PMID: 24358029
16.  Enhancing provision of written medicine information in Australia: pharmacist, general practitioner and consumer perceptions of the barriers and facilitators 
Background
Written medicine information can play an important role in educating consumers about their medicines. In Australia, standardised, comprehensive written information known as Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is available for all prescription medicines. CMI is reportedly under-utilised by general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists in consultations, despite consumer desire for medicine information. This study aimed to determine consumers’, GPs’ and community pharmacists’ preferences for CMI provision and identify barriers and facilitators to its use.
Method
Structured questionnaires were developed and administered to a national sample of Australian consumers (phone survey), community pharmacists and GPs (postal surveys) surrounding utilisation of CMI. Descriptive and comparative analyses were conducted.
Results
Half of consumers surveyed wanted to receive CMI for their prescription medicine, with spoken information preferable to written medicine information for many consumers and healthcare professionals. GPs and pharmacists remained a preferred source of medicine information for consumers, although package inserts were appealing to many among all three cohorts. Overall pharmacists were the preferred provider of CMI primarily due to their medicine expertise, accessibility and perceived availability. GPs preferred CMI dissemination through both the GP and pharmacist. Some consumers preferred GPs as the provider of medicines information because of their knowledge of the patients’ medicines and/or medical history, regularity of seeing the patient and good relationship with the patient. Common barriers to CMI provision cited included: time constraints, CMI length and perceptions that patients are not interested in receiving CMI. Facilitators to enhance provision included: strategies to increase consumer awareness, longer consultation times and counseling appointments, and improvements to pharmacy software technology and workflow.
Conclusion
Medicine information is important to consumers, whether as spoken, written or a combination of both. A tailored approach is needed to ascertain individual patient preference for delivery and scope of medicine information desired so that appropriate information is provided. The barriers of time and perceived attitudes of healthcare practitioners present challenges which may be overcome through changes to workplace practices, adoption of identified facilitators, and education about the positive benefits of CMI as a tool to engage and empower patients.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-14-183
PMCID: PMC4000453  PMID: 24754890
Written medicine information; Patient education; Information-sharing; Barriers; Facilitators; Community pharmacists; General practitioners
17.  Older Patient, Physician and Pharmacist Perspectives about Community Pharmacists’ Roles 
Objectives
To investigate older patient, physician and pharmacist perspectives about the pharmacists’ role in pharmacist-patient interactions.
Methods
Design
Eight focus group discussions.
Settings
Senior centers, community pharmacies, primary care physician offices.
Participants
Forty-two patients aged 63 and older, 17 primary care physicians, and 13 community pharmacists.
Measurements
Qualitative analysis of focus group discussions.
Results
Participants in all focus groups indicated that pharmacists are a good resource for basic information about medications. Physicians appreciated pharmacists’ ability to identify drug interactions, yet did not comment on other specific aspects related to patient education and care. Physicians noted that pharmacists often were hindered by time constraints that impede patient counseling. Both patient and pharmacist participants indicated that patients often asked pharmacists to expand upon, reinforce, and explain physician-patient conversations about medications, as well as to evaluate medication appropriateness and physician treatment plans. These groups also noted that patients confided in pharmacists about medication-related problems before contacting physicians. Pharmacists identified several barriers to patient counseling, including lack of knowledge about medication indications and physician treatment plans.
Conclusions
Community-based pharmacists may often be presented with opportunities to address questions that can affect patient medication use. Older patients, physicians and pharmacists all value greater pharmacist participation in patient care. Suboptimal information flow between physicians and pharmacists may hinder pharmacist interactions with patients and detract from patient medication management. Interventions to integrate pharmacists into the patient healthcare team could improve patient medication management.
doi:10.1111/j.2042-7174.2012.00202.x
PMCID: PMC3442941  PMID: 22953767
pharmacist-patient interactions; provider-patient communication; prescription medication; qualitative research methods
18.  Patient self-management and pharmacist-led patient self-management in Hong Kong: A focus group study from different healthcare professionals' perspectives 
Background
Patient self-management is a key approach to manage non-communicable diseases. A pharmacist-led approach in patient self-management means collaborative care between pharmacists and patients. However, the development of both patient self-management and role of pharmacists is limited in Hong Kong. The objectives of this study are to understand the perspectives of physicians, pharmacists, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners, and dispensers on self-management of patients with chronic conditions, in addition to exploring the possibilities of developing pharmacist-led patient self-management in Hong Kong.
Methods
Participants were invited through the University as well as professional networks. Fifty-one participants comprised of physicians, pharmacists, TCM practitioners and dispensers participated in homogenous focus group discussions. Perspectives in patient self-management and pharmacist-led patient self-management were discussed. The discussions were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed accordingly.
Results
The majority of the participants were in support of patients with stable chronic diseases engaging in self-management. Medication compliance, monitoring of disease parameters and complications, lifestyle modification and identifying situations to seek help from health professionals were generally agreed to be covered in patient self-management. All pharmacists believed that they had extended roles in addition to drug management but the other three professionals believed that pharmacists were drug experts only and could only play an assisting role. Physicians, TCM practitioners, and dispensers were concerned that pharmacist-led patient self-management could be hindered, due to unfamiliarity with the pharmacy profession, the perception of insufficient training in disease management, and lack of trust of patients.
Conclusions
An effective chronic disease management model should involve patients in stable condition to participate in self-management in order to prevent health deterioration and to save healthcare costs. The role of pharmacists should not be limited to drugs and should be extended in the primary healthcare system. Pharmacist-led patient self-management could be developed gradually with the support of government by enhancing pharmacists' responsibilities in health services and developing public-private partnership with community pharmacists. Developing facilitating measures to enhance the implementation of the pharmacist-led approach should also be considered, such as allowing pharmacists to access electronic health records, as well as deregulation of more prescription-only medicines to pharmacy-only medicines.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-121
PMCID: PMC3127980  PMID: 21609422
patient self-management; pharmacist-led patient self-management; chronic disease; health policy; Hong Kong
19.  The contribution of Ghanaian pharmacists to mental healthcare: current practice and barriers 
Background
There is scant knowledge of the involvement of developing country pharmacists in mental healthcare. The objectives of this study were: to examine the existing role of Ghanaian community and hospital pharmacists in the management of mental illness, and to determine the barriers that hinder pharmacists' involvement in mental healthcare in Ghana.
Method
A respondent self-completion questionnaire was randomly distributed to 120 superintendent community pharmacists out of an estimated 240 pharmacists in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana. A purposive sampling method was utilized in selecting two public psychiatric hospital pharmacists in Accra, the capital city of Ghana for a face-to-face interview. A semi-structured interview guide was employed.
Results
A 91.7% response rate was obtained for the community pharmacists' questionnaire survey. Approximately 65% of community pharmacists were not involved in mental health provision. Of the 35% who were, 57% counseled psychiatric patients and 44% of these dispensed medicines for mental illness. Perceived barriers that hindered community pharmacists' involvement in the management of mental health included inadequate education in mental health (cited by 81% of respondents) and a low level of encounter with patients (72%). The psychiatric hospital pharmacists were mostly involved in the dispensing of medicines from the hospital pharmacy.
Conclusion
Both community and hospital pharmacists in Ghana were marginally involved in the provision of mental healthcare. The greatest barrier cited was inadequate knowledge in mental health.
doi:10.1186/1752-4458-4-14
PMCID: PMC2893087  PMID: 20550668
20.  Improving pharmacy practice through public health programs: experience from Global HIV/AIDS initiative Nigeria project 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:525.
Background
The use of medicines is an essential component of many public health programs (PHPs). Medicines are important not only for their capacity to treat and prevent diseases. The public confidence in healthcare system is inevitably linked to their confidence in the availability of safe and effective medicines and the measures for ensuring their rational use. However, pharmacy services component receives little or no attention in most public health programs in developing countries. This article describes the strategies, lessons learnt, and some accomplishments of Howard University Pharmacists and Continuing Education (HU-PACE) Centre towards improving hospital pharmacy practice through PHP in Nigeria.
Method
In a cross-sectional survey, 60 hospital pharmacies were randomly selected from 184 GHAIN-supported health facilities. The assessment was conducted at baseline and repeated after at least 12 months post-intervention using a study-specific instrument. Interventions included engagement of stakeholders; provision of standards for infrastructural upgrade; development of curricula and modules for training of pharmacy personnel; provision of job aids and tools amongst others. A follow-up hands-on skill enhancement based on identified gaps was conducted. Chi-square was used for inferential statistics. All reported p-values were 2-tailed at 95% confidence interval.
Results
The mean duration of service provision at post-intervention assessment was 24.39 (95% CI, 21.70–27.08) months. About 16.7% of pharmacies reported been trained in HIV care at pre-intervention compared to 83.3% at post-intervention. The proportion of pharmacies with audio-visual privacy for patient counseling increased significantly from 30.9% at pre-intervention to 81.4% at post-intervention. Filled prescriptions were cross-checked by pharmacist (61.9%) and pharmacy technician (23.8%) before dispensing at pre-intervention compared to pharmacist (93.1%) and pharmacy technician (6.9%) at post intervention. 40.0% of pharmacies reported tracking consumption of drugs at pre-intervention compared to 98.3% at post-intervention; while 81.7% of pharmacies reported performing periodic stock reconciliation at pre-intervention compared to 100.0% at post-intervention. 36.5% of pharmacies were observed providing individual counseling on medication use to patients at pre-intervention compared to 73.2% at post-intervention; and 11.7% of pharmacies had evidence of monitoring and reporting of suspected adverse drug reaction at pre-intervention compared to 73.3% at post-intervention. The institution of access to patients’ clinical information by pharmacists in all pharmacies at post-intervention was a paradigm shift.
Conclusion
Through public health program, HU-PACE created an enabling environment and improved capacity of pharmacy personnel for quality HIV/AIDS and TB services. This has contributed in diverse ways to better monitoring of patients on pharmacotherapy by pharmacists through access of pharmacists to patients’ clinical information.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-525
PMCID: PMC3824707  PMID: 24255831
Pharmaceutical care; HIV/AIDS; Public health programs; Patients; Nigeria
21.  Engaging community pharmacists in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease: protocol for the Pharmacist Assessment of Adherence, Risk and Treatment in Cardiovascular Disease (PAART CVD) pilot study 
Background
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally. Community pharmacist intervention studies have demonstrated clinical effectiveness for improving several leading individual CVD risk factors. Primary prevention strategies increasingly emphasise the need for consideration of overall cardiovascular risk and concurrent management of multiple risk factors. It is therefore important to demonstrate the feasibility of multiple risk factor management by community pharmacists to ensure continued currency of their role.
Methods/Design
This study will be a longitudinal pre- and post-test pilot study with a single cohort of up to 100 patients in ten pharmacies. Patients aged 50-74 years with no history of heart disease or diabetes, and taking antihypertensive or lipid-lowering medicines, will be approached for participation. Assessment of cardiovascular risk, medicines use and health behaviours will be undertaken by a research assistant at baseline and following the intervention (6 months). Validated interview scales will be used where available. Baseline data will be used by accredited medicines management pharmacists to generate a report for the treating community pharmacist. This report will highlight individual patients' overall CVD risk and individual risk factors, as well as identifying modifiable health behaviours for risk improvement and suggesting treatment and behavioural goals. The treating community pharmacist will use this information to finalise and implement a treatment plan in conjunction with the patient and their doctor. Community pharmacists will facilitate patient improvements in lifestyle, medicines adherence, and medicines management over the course of five counselling sessions with monthly intervals. The primary outcome will be the change to average overall cardiovascular risk, assessed using the Framingham risk equation.
Discussion
This study will assess the feasibility of implementing holistic primary CVD prevention programs into community pharmacy, one of the most accessible health services in most developed countries.
Trial registration
Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry Number: ACTRN12609000677202
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-264
PMCID: PMC2941496  PMID: 20819236
22.  CONTINUING PHARMACEUTICAL EDUCATION FOR COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS IN THE EASTERN PROVINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA 
Background:
Community pharmacists in Saudi Arabia very often make decisions that affect patient outcome. Previous studies have indicated that they have access to limited sources of information. Therefore, structured continuing pharmaceutical education (CPE) is necessary to improve their standards and attitudes.
Aims:
Identify the most important topics for CPE as well as the most significant barriers to conducting CPE successfully.
Methods:
A questionnaire was distributed to 120 pharmacists working in 88 community pharmacies in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The survey contained five sections: general background, topics for CPE that could be of great interest to community pharmacists, possible obstacles to attending CPE, method of instruction, and the most suitable time and day of the week for conducting CPE.
Results:
One hundred and five (87.5%) pharmacists answered the survey questionnaire. The rank order of the five most selected topics for CPE were: drug interaction (81.9%), drug use during pregnancy (77.1%), use of anti-microbial agents (62.5%), pharmaceutical ethics (53.3%), geriatric and pediatric pharmacology (45.7%). For pharmacists, the most important obstacles to attending CPE were lack of time (96.2%), distance from practice (74.2%), and lack of programs or information about these programs (54.3%). Interestingly, 47.6% of the pharmacists recommended credentialing CPE and stated that knowing the lecturer was not considered an important factor.
Conclusion and recommendations:
The findings of this study demonstrated that pharmacists are willing to participate in CPE programs. However, the working conditions of pharmacists would be a major barrier to their attendance. Therefore, improvement of the working conditions of community pharmacists, development of credited CPE programs in each region, as well as improving communication between the Saudi Pharmaceutical Association and community pharmacists are highly recommended.
PMCID: PMC3439743  PMID: 23008650
Continuing pharmaceutical education; pharmaceutical care; community pharmacists; community pharmacies; Saudi Arabia
23.  Pharmacists’ opinions and self-reporting performance regarding the professional tasks and responsibilities in Isfahan, Iran 
Background:
The pharmacists’ roles and responsibilities toward the pharmaceutical care practice have developed considerably during the recent years.
Objectives:
The aim of this program is to explore the opinions and performances of community pharmacists with regard to their professional tasks and responsibilities in Isfahan city.
Materials and Methods:
A descriptive cross-sectional questionnaire survey of community pharmacists was conducted on a sample of 150 pharmacists using the Delphi process. Data were collected on the opinions and performances of the pharmacists’ task, professional responsibility and expertise, organizational and managing skills, and sociodemographic information.
Results:
The response rate was 93.3%. High expressions of agreement were found with most of the task and professional responsibilities and managerial skills and the mean rates of the self-reporting performance of most key tasks were ‘always’. The important differences were found in two opinions about the pharmacists’ responsibilities, (a) declining to dispense the prescribed drug that was not appropriate for the patient's illness and (b) keeping the patient's medical records for future needs. The pharmacists’ opinions on various forms of professional expertise were diverse, especially on recognizing that the required medications were not prescribed for the patient, being informed on the pharmacotherapy subsequence and predicting the therapeutic outcomes, interpreting the laboratory tests results, and assisting persons in need of emergency first aid.
Conclusion:
Pharmacists largely agreed with most of the professional tasks and responsibilities, however, new educational programs should be developed to promote the pharmacists’ knowledge and skills concerning pharmacotherapy. Also an extended role for pharmacists needs to be addressed in the pharmacy regulations and laws.
doi:10.4103/2277-9531.127544
PMCID: PMC3977400  PMID: 24741642
Opinion; pharmacists; pharmaceutical care
24.  Pharmaceutical care education in Kuwait: pharmacy students’ perspectives 
Pharmacy Practice  2014;12(3):411.
Background
Pharmaceutical care is defined as the responsible provision of medication therapy to achieve definite outcomes that improve patients’ quality of life. Pharmacy education should equip students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to practise pharmaceutical care competently.
Objective
To investigate pharmacy students’ attitudes towards pharmaceutical care, perceptions of their preparedness to perform pharmaceutical care competencies, opinions about the importance of the various pharmaceutical care activities, and the barriers to its implementation in Kuwait.
Methods
A descriptive, cross-sectional survey of pharmacy students (n=126) was conducted at Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University. Data were collected via a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive statistics including percentages, medians and means Likert scale rating (SD) were calculated and compared using SPSS, version 19. Statistical significance was accepted at a p value of 0.05 or lower.
Results
The response rate was 99.2%. Pharmacy students expressed overall positive attitudes towards pharmaceutical care. They felt prepared to implement the various aspects of pharmaceutical care, with the least preparedness in the administrative/management aspects. Perceived pharmaceutical care competencies grew as students progressed through the curriculum. The students also appreciated the importance of the various pharmaceutical care competencies. They agreed/strongly agreed that the major barriers to the integration of pharmaceutical care into practice were lack of private counseling areas or inappropriate pharmacy layout (95.2%), lack of pharmacist time (83.3%), organizational obstacles (82.6%), and pharmacists’ physical separation from patient care areas (82.6%).
Conclusion
Pharmacy students’ attitudes and perceived preparedness can serve as needs assessment tools to guide curricular change and improvement. Student pharmacists at Kuwait University understand and advocate implementation of pharmaceutical care while also recognizing the barriers to its widespread adoption. The education and training provided at Kuwait University Faculty of Pharmacy is designed to develop students to be the change agents who can advance pharmacist-provided direct patient care.
PMCID: PMC4161404  PMID: 25243027
Students; Pharmacy; Education; Pharmacy; Curriculum; Attitude of Health Personnel; Professional Role; Kuwait
25.  Impact of a First-Year Student Pharmacist Diabetes Self-Care Education Program 
Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of a first-year diabetes self-care education program by measuring student pharmacists’ confidence and knowledge retention, and the clinical applicability of the skills learned.
Design. Integrated into a Pharmacy Practice Course, a 9-hour program consisting of lectures, a home glucose monitor assignment, and active-learning workshops was completed by 2 cohorts of first-year student pharmacists. Three survey instruments were developed and administered to the student pharmacists prior to the program, immediately after the program, and 9 months after the program to assess confidence, knowledge retention, and the clinical applicability of the knowledge and skills learned.
Assessment. In cohort 1, 54 student pharmacists (response rate 90%) perceived that their confidence and ability improved significantly (increased by 88% and 110%, respectively, from baseline, p<0.001). Overall knowledge of diabetes increased as well as indicated by a 40% increase in test scores (p<0.001). About two-thirds of student pharmacists used their training to assist patients with diabetes within 9 months of completing the program. Findings in cohort 2 mirrored those observed with cohort 1, indicating good generalizability.
Conclusions. An innovative first-year diabetes self-care education program significantly improved student pharmacists’ knowledge and confidence in providing diabetes self-care education, and the majority immediately used their leaned skills to assist diabetes patients and caregivers. Training first-year student pharmacists in diabetes care so they are prepared to use these skills as early as their first year of pharmacy school may be an effective approach to increasing the number of providers available to counsel and care for this expanding patient population.
doi:10.5688/ajpe7710215
PMCID: PMC3872934  PMID: 24371339
diabetes; survey; pharmacy education; knowledge retention; self-care

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