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1.  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
2.  Do community pharmacists in Nepal have a role in adverse drug reaction reporting systems? 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2013;6(2):100-103.
Community pharmacies in Nepal serve both rural and urban populations and are an integral part of the Nepalese healthcare system. These community pharmacies are run by non-pharmacist professionals with orientation training on pharmacology and drug dispensing. Graduate pharmacists’ involvement in community pharmacy will help with patient counselling, dispensing of medication and promotion of safe and appropriate medicine use. Nepal has an organised pharmacovigilance system which incorporates adverse drug reaction (ADRs) from hospitals and tertiary care centres but not from the community. Involvement of pharmacists in community pharmacy will help in ADR reporting and, monitoring at community level and will help in promoting medication safety in the community. This article describes the community pharmacovigilance program in Nepal and the prospects for community pharmacists.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2013.1544
PMCID: PMC3593519  PMID: 23483017
Community Pharmacy; Adverse Drug Reaction; Pharmacist; Nepal
3.  Prostate cancer education in the Washington, DC, area. 
Pharmacists are key members of the healthcare team, especially in minority and urban communities. This study was developed to assess pharmacists' ability and willingness to counsel the public on prostate cancer in the community pharmacy setting. A mail survey was sent to all 192 community pharmacies in Washington, DC, and Prince George's County, Maryland. A total of 90 pharmacists responded to the questionnaire, providing a 46.9% response rate. One third of the pharmacists indicated a willingness to participate in a prostate cancer training program. Perceived benefits and perceived barriers were each measured through five questionnaire items using Likert-style statements with responses ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." The most significant predictor of perceived benefits of providing prostate cancer information was gender; male pharmacists perceived greater benefits for providing prostate cancer information than female pharmacists. Similarly, black pharmacists perceived greater benefits of providing prostate cancer information to their patients than non-black pharmacists. Also, pharmacists in stores that offered disease state management programs had a significantly lower perceived benefit of providing prostate cancer information. These findings indicate that gender and race may play a role in health promotion in health disparities. There were no significant barriers to providing prostate cancer information. Thus, many pharmacists are willing to participate in health education on prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC2594186  PMID: 12442999
4.  Factors influencing pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing: qualitative application of the diffusion of innovations theory 
Background
In 2007, Alberta became the first Canadian jurisdiction to grant pharmacists a wide range of prescribing privileges. Our objective was to understand what factors influence pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing using a model for the Diffusion of Innovations in healthcare services.
Methods
Pharmacists participated in semi-structured telephone interviews to discuss their prescribing practices and explore the facilitators and barriers to implementation. Pharmacists working in community, hospital, PCN, or other settings were selected using a mix of random and purposive sampling. Two investigators independently analyzed each transcript using an Interpretive Description approach to identify themes. Analyses were informed by a model explaining the Diffusion of Innovations in health service organizations.
Results
Thirty-eight participants were interviewed. Prescribing behaviours varied from non-adoption through to product, disease, and patient focused use of prescribing. Pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing was dependent on the innovation itself, adopter, system readiness, and communication and influence. Adopting pharmacists viewed prescribing as a legitimization of previous practice and advantageous to instrumental daily tasks. The complexity of knowledge required for prescribing increased respectively in product, disease and patient focused prescribing scenarios. Individual adopters had higher levels of self-efficacy toward prescribing skills. At a system level, pharmacists who were in practice settings that were patient focused were more likely to adopt advanced prescribing practices, over those in product-focused settings. All pharmacists stated that physician relationships impacted their prescribing behaviours and individual pharmacists’ decisions to apply for independent prescribing privileges.
Conclusions
Diffusion of Innovations theory was helpful in understanding the multifaceted nature of pharmacists’ adoption of prescribing. The characteristics of the prescribing model itself which legitimized prior practices, the model of practice in a pharmacy setting, and relationships with physicians were prominent influences on pharmacists’ prescribing behaviours.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-8-109
PMCID: PMC3847669  PMID: 24034176
5.  Meeting user needs in national healthcare systems: lessons from early adopter community pharmacists using the electronic prescriptions service 
Background
The Electronic Prescription Service release Two (EPS2) is a new national healthcare information and communication technology in England that aims to deliver effective prescription writing, dispensing and reimbursement service to benefit patients. The aim of the study was to explore initial user experiences of Community Pharmacists (CPs) using EPS2.
Methods
We conducted nonparticipant observations and interviews in eight EPS2 early adopter community pharmacies classified as ‘first-of-type’ in midlands and northern regions in England. We interviewed eight pharmacists and two dispensers in addition to 56 hours recorded nonparticipant observations as field notes. Line-by-line coding and thematic analysis was conducted on the interview transcripts and field notes.
Results
CPs faced two types of challenge. The first was to do with missing electronic prescriptions. This was sometimes very disrupting to work practice, but pharmacists considered it a temporary issue resolvable with minor modifications to the system and user familiarity. The second was to do with long term design-specific issues. Pharmacists could only overcome these by using the system in ways not intended by the developers. Some felt that these issues would not exist had ‘real’ users been involved in the initial development. The issues were: 1) printing out electronic prescriptions (tokens) to dispense from for safe dispensing practices and to free up monitors for other uses, 2) logging all dispensing activities with one user’s Smartcard for convenience and use all human resources in the pharmacy, and, 3) problematic interface causing issues with endorsing prescriptions and claiming reimbursements.
Conclusions
We question if these unintended uses and barriers would have occurred had a more rigorous user-centric principles been applied at the earlier stages of design and implementation of EPS. We conclude that, since modification can occur at the evaluation stage, there is still scope for some of these barriers to be corrected to address the needs, and enhance the experiences, of CPs using the service, and make recommendations on how current challenges could be resolved.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-14-16
PMCID: PMC3984715  PMID: 24612966
User-centric approaches; Healthcare ICT; Usability; User experience; Social informatics in healthcare; Electronic prescription service release two
6.  Experiences of community pharmacists involved in the delivery of a specialist asthma service in Australia 
Background
The role of community pharmacists in disease state management has been mooted for some years. Despite a number of trials of disease state management services, there is scant literature into the engagement of, and with, pharmacists in such trials. This paper reports pharmacists’ feedback as providers of a Pharmacy Asthma Management Service (PAMS), a trial coordinated across four academic research centres in Australia in 2009. We also propose recommendations for optimal involvement of pharmacists in academic research.
Methods
Feedback about the pharmacists’ experiences was sought via their participation in either a focus group or telephone interview (for those unable to attend their scheduled focus group) at one of three time points. A semi-structured interview guide focused discussion on the pharmacists’ training to provide the asthma service, their interactions with health professionals and patients as per the service protocol, and the future for this type of service. Focus groups were facilitated by two researchers, and the individual interviews were shared between three researchers, with data transcribed verbatim and analysed manually.
Results
Of 93 pharmacists who provided the PAMS, 25 were involved in a focus group and seven via telephone interview. All pharmacists approached agreed to provide feedback. In general, the pharmacists engaged with both the service and research components, and embraced their roles as innovators in the trial of a new service. Some experienced challenges in the recruitment of patients into the service and the amount of research-related documentation, and collaborative patient-centred relationships with GPs require further attention. Specific service components, such as the spirometry, were well received by the pharmacists and their patients. Professional rewards included satisfaction from their enhanced practice, and pharmacists largely envisaged a future for the service.
Conclusions
The PAMS provided pharmacists an opportunity to become involved in an innovative service delivery model, supported by the researchers, yet trained and empowered to implement the clinical service throughout the trial period and beyond. The balance between support and independence appeared crucial in the pharmacists’ engagement with the trial. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, while useful suggestions were identified for future academic trials.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-164
PMCID: PMC3439711  PMID: 22709371
Pharmacy; Asthma; Disease management service; Experiences; Feedback
7.  Design and Implementation of an Educational Partnership Between Community Pharmacists and Consumer Educators in Mental Health Care 
Objective
To design and implement an interactive education program to improve the skill and confidence of community pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical services to people with mental illnesses.
Design
A literature review was conducted and key stakeholders were consulted to design a partnership that involved community pharmacists and consumer educators. The partnership was designed so that all participants shared equal status. This facilitated mutual recognition of each others' skills.
Assessment
Four 2-hour training sessions were conducted over a 2-week period in March 2005. Seven pharmacists, 5 consumer educators, and 1 caregiver educator participated in the partnership. Pharmacists indicated that their participation caused them to reflect on their own medication counseling techniques. Consumer educators reported that speaking about their experiences aided their recovery.
Conclusion
Developing a better understanding and improved communication between community pharmacists and people with mental illnesses is an important aspect of facilitating a concordant approach to patient counseling. Implementing mental health education programs utilizing consumer educators in pharmacy schools is a promising area for further research.
PMCID: PMC1636921  PMID: 17149408
continuing education; patient counseling; community pharmacy; mental health care
8.  Do Professional Practices among Malaysian Private Healthcare Providers Differ? A Comparative Study using Simulated Patients 
Background: Malaysia, a South East Asian country, legally permits general medical practitioners in private clinics to dispense medicines. This possibly can dilute the pharmacist role in the provision of healthcare and pharmaceutical care and deprive patients to benefit from these services.
Objective: This study explored, assessed and compared the current status of medicines labeling, patient’s counseling, and symptomatic diagnosis by general practitioners and community pharmacists.
Material and Methods: This study used trained Simulated Patients (SP), who participated in a scenario of common cold symptoms at private clinics and community pharmacies. SPs explored medication labeling, patients counseling and symptomatic diagnosis undertaken by general practitioners and community pharmacists. Later, study authors assessed and compared these practices. The study was conducted during June 2011 in Penang, Malaysia.
Results: The study used descriptive statistics and Fisher-exact test to analyze data. Regarding patients counseling standard, among 100 visits by simulated patients, 64 (64%) from community pharmacists provided information about the medicine name, its indication, dosage and route of administration versus 17 (42.5%) general practitioners during 40 visits (p=0.024). Concerning adherence to labeling standard, for instance, only in one pharmacy visit, (1%) the pharmacist wrote the name of the patient on the medication label versus in 32 (80%) of doctors’ visits, the doctors adhered to this labeling standard (p<0.001). In all doctors’ visits (n=40, 100%), SPs were asked about symptoms, whereas in 87 (87%) CPs’ visits, pharmacists fulfilled this counseling standard (p=0.02).
Conclusion: Although pharmacists showed less compliance to medicine labeling and symptomatic diagnosis compared to doctors, their counseling of patients was better. Separation will definitely contribute to more concentration of each provider on his/her roles and improve and direct the experiences and skills towards being more patient oriented.
doi:10.7860/JCDR/2013/6198.3789
PMCID: PMC3919326  PMID: 24551673
Common cold; Community pharmacists; Dispensing doctors; Dispensing separation; General medical practitioners; Malaysia; Medicine labelling; Patient’s counselling; Simulated patients
9.  Development and Evaluation of a Checklist for Medication Order Review by Pharmacists 
Background:
To create a checklist of the tasks that a pharmacist must perform during medication order review in the hospital setting and to evaluate the utility of and pharmacists’ satisfaction with the checklist.
Methods:
An evidence-based checklist for medication order review was developed, with items related to order urgency, verification of patients’ identity, therapeutic review, and actionable items. Pharmacists were educated about the checklist, and it was made available at 2 community hospitals in an urban setting. Pharmacists completed a nonvalidated satisfaction survey and participated in focus groups or interviews within 3 months after implementation of the checklist. Qualitative descriptive theory was used to identify themes within the data. Near-miss occurrence reports for the 3 months before and after implementation of the checklist were quantified.
Results:
Of 16 pharmacists who were involved in the implementation phase, 14 participated in focus groups or an interview, and 11 responded to the survey. All respondents felt that the primary role of the checklist was for training. They felt that the checklist could be useful when reviewing high-alert or unfamiliar medications or therapy for patients with complex medications. The checklist was most helpful when it was used as a reminder, on an as-needed basis. Nine (82%) of the 11 survey respondents indicated that the checklist standardized the process of medication order review, the same number felt that it prevented accidental omission of critical checks, and 8 (73%) felt that it improved patient safety. Education was necessary to reinforce the purpose of the checklist and its self-check nature. There was no difference in the number of near misses in the pharmacy between the 3-month periods before and after implementation of the checklist.
Conclusion:
Pharmacists participating in the study felt that a checklist for medication order review had a role in training new pharmacists and standardizing processes.
PMCID: PMC3130755  PMID: 22479055
checklist; pharmacist; medication order review; liste de contrôle; pharmacien; validation des ordonnances de médicaments
10.  An expanded prescribing role for pharmacists - an Australian perspective 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2011;4(4):236-242.
Expanded pharmacist prescribing is a new professional practice area for pharmacists. Currently, Australian pharmacists’ prescribing role is limited to over-the-counter medications. This review aims to identify Australian studies involving the area of expanded pharmacist prescribing. Australian studies exploring the issues of pharmacist prescribing were identified and considered in the context of its implementation internationally. Australian studies have mainly focused on the attitudes of community and hospital pharmacists towards such an expansion. Studies evaluating the views of Australian consumers and pharmacy clients were also considered. The available Australian literature indicated support from pharmacists and pharmacy clients for an expanded pharmacist prescribing role, with preference for doctors retaining a primary role in diagnosis. Australian pharmacists and pharmacy client’s views were also in agreement in terms of other key issues surrounding expanded pharmacist prescribing. These included the nature of an expanded prescribing model, the need for additional training for pharmacists and the potential for pharmacy clients gaining improved medication access, which could be achieved within an expanded role that pharmacists could provide. Current evidence from studies conducted in Australia provides valuable insight to relevant policymakers on the issue of pharmacist prescribing in order to move the agenda of pharmacist prescribing forwards.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2011.694
PMCID: PMC3562903  PMID: 23393515
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
11.  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
12.  The contribution of the Medicines Use Review (MUR) consultation to counseling practice in community pharmacies☆ 
Patient Education and Counseling  2011;83(3):336-344.
Objective
To understand the contribution of the Medicines Use Review consultation to counseling practice in community pharmacies.
Methods
Qualitative study involving ten weeks of observations in two community pharmacies and interviews with patients and pharmacy staff.
Results
‘Traditional’ counseling on prescription medicines involved the unilateral transfer of information from pharmacist to patient. Over-the-counter discussions were initiated by patients and offered more scope for patient participation. The recently introduced MUR service offers new opportunities for pharmacists’ role development in counseling patients about their medicines use. However, the study findings revealed that MUR consultations were brief encounters dominated by closed questions, enabling quick and easy completion of the MUR form. Interactions resembled counseling when handing out prescription medicines. Patients rarely asked questions and indeterminate issues were often circumvented by the pharmacist when they did. MURs did little to increase patients’ knowledge and rarely affected medicine use, although some felt reassured about their medicines. Pragmatic constraints of workload and pharmacy organisation undermined pharmacists’ capacity to implement the MUR service effectively.
Conclusion
Pharmacists failed to fully realise the opportunity offered by MURs being constrained by situational pressures.
Practice implications
Pharmacist consultation skills need to be reviewed if MURs are to realise their intended aims.
doi:10.1016/j.pec.2011.05.007
PMCID: PMC3145978  PMID: 21621943
Counseling; Medicines Use Reviews; Patient centred; Patient–pharmacist communication; Pharmacy practice
13.  Ideal and actual involvement of community pharmacists in health promotion and prevention: a cross-sectional study in Quebec, Canada 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:192.
Background
An increased interest is observed in broadening community pharmacists' role in public health. To date, little information has been gathered in Canada on community pharmacists' perceptions of their role in health promotion and prevention; however, such data are essential to the development of public-health programs in community pharmacy. A cross-sectional study was therefore conducted to explore the perceptions of community pharmacists in urban and semi-urban areas regarding their ideal and actual levels of involvement in providing health-promotion and prevention services and the barriers to such involvement.
Methods
Using a five-step modified Dillman's tailored design method, a questionnaire with 28 multiple-choice or open-ended questions (11 pages plus a cover letter) was mailed to a random sample of 1,250 pharmacists out of 1,887 community pharmacists practicing in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and surrounding areas. It included questions on pharmacists' ideal level of involvement in providing health-promotion and preventive services; which services were actually offered in their pharmacy, the employees involved, the frequency, and duration of the services; the barriers to the provision of these services in community pharmacy; their opinion regarding the most appropriate health professionals to provide them; and the characteristics of pharmacists, pharmacies and their clientele.
Results
In all, 571 out of 1,234 (46.3%) eligible community pharmacists completed and returned the questionnaire. Most believed they should be very involved in health promotion and prevention, particularly in smoking cessation (84.3%); screening for hypertension (81.8%), diabetes (76.0%) and dyslipidemia (56.9%); and sexual health (61.7% to 89.1%); however, fewer respondents reported actually being very involved in providing such services (5.7% [lifestyle, including smoking cessation], 44.5%, 34.8%, 6.5% and 19.3%, respectively). The main barriers to the provision of these services in current practice were lack of: time (86.1%), coordination with other health care professionals (61.1%), staff or resources (57.2%), financial compensation (50.8%), and clinical tools (45.5%).
Conclusions
Although community pharmacists think they should play a significant role in health promotion and prevention, they recognize a wide gap between their ideal and actual levels of involvement. The efficient integration of primary-care pharmacists and pharmacies into public health cannot be envisioned without addressing important organizational barriers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-192
PMCID: PMC3342160  PMID: 22420693
Community pharmacists; Cross-sectional study; Health promotion; Prevention; Public health
14.  The Community Pharmacist As A Resource for the Family Physician 
Canadian Family Physician  1985;31:1977-1980.
The family physician's relationship with the community pharmacist has tended to be biased. The physician sees the pharmacist simply as a dispenser of drugs. Physicians and pharmacists are usually physically separated, lessening their chances of a collaborative working relationship. Family physicians' traditional sources of drug information include journals, colleagues and drug company literature. However, when they have some form of regular interaction with a pharmacist, physicians tend to see the pharmacist as a main source of drug information. The proper use of medication involves three critical relationships: doctor/patient, doctor/pharmacist, and pharmacist/patient. The doctor/pharmacist relationship has several components: individual consultations, regular team meetings, and establishment of a limited formulary for physicians and residents. There is evidence that compliance is improved when the pharmacist is involved in patient education.
PMCID: PMC2327876  PMID: 21274211
Pharmacist; family physician; primary care
15.  Are Sudanese community pharmacists capable to prescribe and demonstrate asthma inhaler devices to patrons? A mystery patient study 
Pharmacy Practice  2012;10(2):110-115.
Although community pharmacists have become more involved in the care of asthma patients, several studies have assessed pharmacists’'ability to illustrate appropriately inhalation technique of different asthma devices. Many studies addressed inappropriate use of asthma devices by patients and pharmacists, in addition to its clinical, humanistic and economic burden.
Objective
To evaluate community pharmacists' practical knowledge and skills of demonstrating proper inhalation technique of asthma inhaler devices available in Sudan.
Methods
Three hundred community pharmacies located around the three major hospitals in the capital city (Khartoum) and four other provinces were approached, and four asthma devices were assessed: Metered-dose inhaler (MDI) (n=105), MDI with Spacer (n=83), Turbuhaler (n=61), and Diskus (n=51). Investigator (a pharmacist) acted as a mystery patient. He selected one device and asked the serving pharmacist to demonstrate how to use the device. Investigator completed a checklist of 9 steps of inhaler device use immediately after leaving the pharmacy. Essential steps derived from published literature were pre-specified for each device. Five evaluation categories were accordingly formulated as follows: optimal technique, adequate technique, poor technique, totally unfamiliar with the device, and does not know.
Results
More than half of the pharmacists approached with metered dose inhaler did not know how to use optimal technique (ie all steps correct) all through. A third poorly demonstrated the technique, and only one pharmacist was categorized as being able to demonstrate an "optimal technique". The majority of pharmacists approached with spacing chamber and dry powder inhalers (Turbuhaler and Diskus) either did not know proper technique or were totally unfamiliar with the devices.
Conclusions
The majority of community pharmacists, who were expected to educate asthma patients on their dispensed inhalers, lack the basic knowledge of proper use of commonly dispensed asthma inhaler devices.
PMCID: PMC3780485  PMID: 24155826
Nebulizers and Vaporizers; Asthma; Community Pharmacy Services; Pharmacists; Patient Simulation; Sudan
16.  Management of childhood diarrhoea by pharmacists and parents: is Britain lagging behind the Third World? 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1991;302(6774):440-443.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the role of community pharmacists in providing advice and treatment for children with diarrhoea; to investigate mothers' responses to diarrhoea in their children. DESIGN--Cross sectional questionnaire study of a random selection of community pharmacists and of mothers attending child health clinics. Pharmacists were interviewed and given a questionnaire and a separate group was visited by a researcher posing as a parent; mothers were interviewed at the clinic. SETTING--Newcastle upon Tyne. SUBJECTS--20 pharmacists were interviewed and visits by a researcher posing as a parent were carried out to 10 different pharmacists; 58 mothers were interviewed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Advice given by pharmacists was contrasted with standard advice on management of diarrhoea in children. RESULTS--Half of the pharmacists interviewed and 70% of pharmacists visited by a researcher posing as a parent recommended inappropriate treatment of childhood diarrhoea (such as antidiarrhoeal drugs and withholding breast milk), and only 30% at interview stated that they would ask for the age of the child. Mothers' knowledge of home treatment was inadequate. All pharmacists in the posed visits recommended a purchased treatment. CONCLUSION--Pharmacists are widely used by parents for consultation for children's ailments but their advice is not always appropriate; hence they should be given more consistent training in recognising and managing clinical problems. Medical advice on management of diarrhoea is also inconsistent and should be modified to conform to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation.
PMCID: PMC1669340  PMID: 2004171
17.  Assessment of professionalism in Iranian pharmacists 
In the recent years, the role of a pharmacist has been significantly changed. Traditionally, in the late 20th century, a pharmacist’s role was considered as merely dispensing medication to patients. This view however, has been significantly altered, and, today, a pharmacist is supposed to provide patients with information regarding the medication they are to take, as well as on different aspects of their disease. Therefore, one can suggest that some other factors have recently come into play in the daily tasks of a pharmacist such as accountability and authority.
The current cross-sectional survey is conducted on a cohort of community pharmacists attending a continuing education program. A questionnaire comprised of 26 Likert-type scale questions was designed to assess pharmacists’ attitude towards professionalism and its subscales which are defined later in detail. A total number of 1000 pharmacists were surveyed and 560 of them filled and returned the questionnaires. On a scale from 1-5 on which 1 was corresponded with strongly agree and 5 with strongly disagree, the total score of pharmacists professionalism was 92.9 ± 10.4 out of 130. As regards the subscales, in the subscale of accountability 46.8% of participants, in the subscale of altruism 90.1% of participants, in the theme of duty 85.7% of participants, and in the subscale of working relationship with physicians 84% of pharmacist achieved more than two third of the total score. Only in term of conflict of interest 67.9% of participants scored less than two third (17–25) of the total score. Women obtained significantly higher scores in altruism (P<0.05). Furthermore, there was a correlation between age and the score of accountability and working relationship with physicians; and, the same was observed in regards with work experience with the score of working relationship with physicians. The employment position affected neither our participants’ response to the whole questionnaire nor any of subscales.
Although the total score for professionalism was not dramatically decreased, the significantly low results are alarming and they should be considered more seriously. In order to enhance the level of pharmacists’ professionalism, especially in some special aspects, it seems necessary to conduct similar surveys on pharmacy students and registered pharmacists with a more comprehensive questionnaire. Overall, it can be concluded that designing a proper teaching course in professionalism for pharmacy students is of paramount importance if we are to promote professionalism in future pharmacists.
PMCID: PMC3713883  PMID: 23908748
Pharmacy professionalism; Altruism; Accountability; Pharmacy ethics
18.  Why Hospital Pharmacists Have Failed to Manage Antimalarial Drugs Stock-Outs in Pakistan? A Qualitative Insight 
Malaria Research and Treatment  2013;2013:342843.
Purpose. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of hospital pharmacists towards drug management and reasons underlying stock-outs of antimalarial drugs in Pakistan. Methods. A qualitative study was designed to explore the perceptions of hospital pharmacists regarding drug management and irrational use of antimalarial drugs in two major cities of Pakistan, namely, Islamabad (national capital) and Rawalpindi (twin city). Semistructured interviews were conducted with 16 hospital pharmacists using indepth interview guides at a place and time convenient for the respondents. Interviews, which were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim, were evaluated by thematic content analysis and by other authors' analysis. Results. Most of the respondents were of the view that financial constraints, inappropriate drug management, and inadequate funding were the factors contributing toward the problem of antimalarial drug stock-outs in healthcare facilities of Pakistan. The pharmacists anticipated that prescribing by nonproprietary names, training of health professionals, accepted role of hospital pharmacist in drug management, implementation of essential drug list and standard treatment guidelines for malaria in the healthcare system can minimize the problem of drug stock outs in healthcare system of Pakistan. Conclusion. The current study showed that all the respondents in the two cities agreed that hospital pharmacist has failed to play an effective role in efficient management of anti-malarial drugs stock-outs.
doi:10.1155/2013/342843
PMCID: PMC3816060  PMID: 24223321
19.  A qualitative study exploring public perceptions on the role of community pharmacists in Dubai 
Pharmacy Practice  2014;12(1):363.
Background
The role of community pharmacists is very important due to their access to primary care patients and expertise. For this reason, the interaction level between pharmacists and patients should be optimized to ensure enhanced delivery of pharmacy services.
Objective
To gauge perceptions and expectations of the public on the role of community pharmacists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Methods
Twenty five individuals were invited to participate in 4 separate focus group discussions. Individuals came from different racial groups and socio-economic backgrounds. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Using thematic analysis, two reviewers coded all transcripts to identify emerging themes. Appropriate measures were taken to ensure study rigor and validity.
Results
All facilitators and barriers that were identified were grouped into 5 distinct themes. The pharmacist as a healthcare professional in the public mind was the most prominent theme that was discussed in all 4 focus groups. Other themes identified were, in decreasing order of prevalence, psychological perceptions towards pharmacists, important determinants of a pharmacist, the pharmacy as a unique healthcare provider, and control over pharmacies by health authorities.
Conclusions
This study provided insight into the way that the public looks at the role of community pharmacists in Dubai. Determinants that influence their perception are the media, health authorities, pharmacist’s knowledge level, attire, nationality, age, and pharmacy location.
PMCID: PMC3955864  PMID: 24644519
Community Pharmacy Services; Pharmacies; Professional Practice; Consumer Satisfaction; Focus Groups; United Arab Emirates
20.  Attitudes and Behaviors of Practicing Community Pharmacists Towards Patient Counselling 
The present study was conducted to assess the attitudes and behaviors of practicing community pharmacists towards patient counselling and use of patient information leaflets in the state of Karnataka. Convenient sampling method was adopted to collect the responses with the help of self-completion questionnaires. A total of 258 practicing community pharmacists in the age group of 22–60 y of both gender with practicing experience of 2-30 y participated in the study. Majority of respondents (80%) agreed that, patient counselling is their professional obligation. About 17% of the respondents mentioned that, they try to give basic information regarding drug usage to the patient. The reasons stated by the pharmacists to provide patient counselling were, professional satisfaction (43%), patients go with satisfaction (32%), observed increase in sales (8%), and also improved patient compliance (7.5%). The major barriers for offering patient counselling were mentioned as pharmacists' inadequate knowledge and confidence (78%), doctor dispensing (72%), no professional fee (56%), poor response from patients (82%), inadequate continuous professional development programs (75%). Many respondents agreed that, patient information leaflets certainly help in counselling but available information leaflets are company generated and prescriber focused. Many respondents found the present continuing professional development module was useful and are interested in weekend workshops to update their professional knowledge (83%). Restrictions on doctor dispensing, legalization of patient counselling, regular continuing professional development programs are the factors observed to motivate the pharmacists to offer patient counselling.
doi:10.4103/0250-474X.56029
PMCID: PMC2865787  PMID: 20490295
Attitudes and behaviors; community pharmacists; patient counseling; patient information leaflets
21.  Economic evaluation of task-shifting approaches to the dispensing of anti-retroviral therapy 
Background
A scarcity of human resources for health has been identified as one of the primary constraints to the scale-up of the provision of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART). In South Africa there is a particularly severe lack of pharmacists. The study aims to compare two task-shifting approaches to the dispensing of ART: Indirectly Supervised Pharmacist’s Assistants (ISPA) and Nurse-based pharmaceutical care models against the standard of care which involves a pharmacist dispensing ART.
Methods
A cross-sectional mixed methods study design was used. Patient exit interviews, time and motion studies, expert interviews and staff costs were used to conduct a costing from the societal perspective. Six facilities were sampled in the Western Cape province of South Africa, and 230 patient interviews conducted.
Results
The ISPA model was found to be the least costly task-shifting pharmaceutical model. However, patients preferred receiving medication from the nurse. This related to a fear of stigma and being identified by virtue of receiving ART at the pharmacy.
Conclusions
While these models are not mutually exclusive, and a variety of pharmaceutical care models will be necessary for scale up, it is useful to consider the impact of implementing these models on the provider, patient access to treatment and difficulties in implementation.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-10-32
PMCID: PMC3473241  PMID: 22974373
Task-shifting; Pharmaceutical care models; Skills mix; Anti-retroviral therapy
22.  Should Pharmacists have a Role in Harm Reduction Services for IDUs? A Qualitative Study in Tallinn, Estonia 
Despite the high number of injecting drug users (IDUs) in Estonia, little is known about involving pharmacies into human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention activities and potential barriers. Similarly, in other Eastern European countries, there is a need for additional sources for clean syringes besides syringe exchange programmes (SEPs), but data on current practices relating to pharmacists’ role in harm reduction strategies is scant. Involving pharmacies is especially important for several reasons: they have extended hours of operation and convenient locations compared to SEPs, may provide access for IDUs who have avoided SEPs, and are a trusted health resource in the community. We conducted a series of focus groups with pharmacists and IDUs in Tallinn, Estonia, to explore their attitudes toward the role of pharmacists in HIV prevention activities for IDUs. Many, but not all, pharmacists reported a readiness to sell syringes to IDUs to help prevent HIV transmission. However, negative attitudes toward IDUs in general and syringe sales to them specifically were identified as important factors restricting such sales. The idea of free distribution of clean syringes or other injecting equipment and disposal of used syringes in pharmacies elicited strong resistance. IDUs stated that pharmacies were convenient for acquiring syringes due to their extended opening hours and local distribution. IDUs were positive toward pharmacies, although they were aware of stigma from pharmacists and other customers. They also emphasized the need for distilled water and other injection paraphernalia. In conclusion, there are no formal or legislative obstacles for providing HIV prevention services for IDUs at pharmacies. Addressing negative attitudes through educational courses and involving pharmacists willing to be public health educators in high drug use areas would improve access for HIV prevention services for IDUs.
doi:10.1007/s11524-009-9400-5
PMCID: PMC2791822  PMID: 19921542
Injecting drug users; Pharmacists; Harm reduction services
23.  British community pharmacists' views of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) 
Journal of Medical Ethics  2000;26(5):363-369.
Objectives— To explore British community pharmacists' views on PAS , including professional responsibility, personal beliefs, changes in law and ethical guidance.
Design— Postal questionnaire
Setting— Great Britain
Subjects— A random sample of 320 registered full-time community pharmacists
Results— The survey yielded a response rate of 56%. The results showed that 70% of pharmacists agreed that it was a patient's right to choose to die, with 57% and 45% agreeing that it was the patient's right to involve his/her doctor in the process and to use prescription medicines, respectively. Forty-nine per cent said that they would knowingly dispense a prescription for use in PAS were it to be legalised and 54% believed it correct to refuse to dispense such a prescription. Although 53% believed it to be their right to know when they were being involved in PAS, 28% did not. Most pharmacists (90%) said that they would wish to see the inclusion of a practice protocol for PAS in the code of ethics of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (CE-RPSGB) in the event of a change in the law on PAS. In addition, 89% would wish to see PAS included in the Conscience Clause of the CE-RPSGB. Males were found to be significantly less likely to favour PAS than females (p<0.05), as were those declaring an ethnic/religious background of consideration when dealing with ethical issues in practice compared with their counterparts (p<0.00005).
Conclusion— Pharmacists view their professional responsibility in PAS to be more obligatory than a physician's, in having to provide the means for PAS. It is worrying that a proportion of the respondents prefer to remain in ignorance of the true purpose of a prescription for PAS; a finding at odds with current developments within the pharmaceutical profession. A practice protocol for PAS and an extension of the conscience clause should be considered in the event of PAS becoming legal. Such measures would allow the efficient provision of the pharmaceutical service whilst at the same respecting the personal beliefs of those who object to cooperating in the ending of a life.
Key Words: Professional ethics • pharmacy ethics • community pharmacy • bioethics • physician-assisted suicide • euthanasia
doi:10.1136/jme.26.5.363
PMCID: PMC1733280  PMID: 11055040
24.  The impact of pharmaceutical care on patients with hypertension and their pharmacists 
Pharmacy Practice  2011;9(2):110-115.
Objective
The purpose of the study was to assess the influence of pharmaceutical care on patients’ knowledge, quality of life and blood pressure and to determine whether new type of pharmaceutical services changes the pharmacists’ satisfaction and knowledge.
Methods
Community pharmacies were randomly assigned to study and control group and pharmacists from both groups included patients with hypertension, who meet inclusion and exclusion criteria. Study group provided the pharmaceutical care (education, pharmacotherapy monitoring, detecting and solving drug related problems) for their patients, while the control group provided the standard pharmaceutical services (dispensing medicines with or without counseling). At the beginning and the end of the study pharmacists and patients filled in the knowledge test. Pharmacists fulfilled also satisfaction questionnaire.
Results
Survey data were collected from 28 and 56 patients from community pharmacies in study and control group respectively. At the last meeting the normal blood pressure achieved 79% and 55% patients in study and control group, respectively (p>0,05). The pharmaceutical care improved patients’ knowledge about disease. Pharmacists from study group, who provided pharmaceutical care, had higher level of pharmacotherapy knowledge and professional satisfaction than the control group.
Conclusions
Implementation of pharmaceutical care into the pharmacy practice benefits both, patients and pharmacists.
PMCID: PMC3969835
Hypertension; Medication Therapy Management; Community Pharmacy Services; Poland
25.  Compilation of a herbal medicine formulary for herbal substances in Malta and its usefulness amongst healthcare professionals 
Context
Today, the use of herbal medicine for primary healthcare has increased considerably. Since local pharmacists graduate with little knowledge on herbal medicine, the majority are ill-equipped to provide pharmaceutical advice.
Aims
To develop and evaluate a herbal medicine formulary to aid healthcare professionals (HCPs) in the prescribing, dispensing and counselling responsibilities.
Settings and Design
Community pharmacies.
Methods and Material
Monographs on all herbal substances available locally were compiled into a formulary. The formulary was then distributed to all, 216, local pharmacies. Subsequently, a questionnaire was distributed to 55 pharmacists and 10 general practitioners (GPs).
Statistical analysis used
Descriptive statistical analysis.
Results
A total of 177 herbal monographs have been compiled and 612 herbal products listed. Thirty HCPs participated in the questionnaire. The formulary was found to be useful by all participants with 19 claiming to use it frequently and 7 quite frequently. Participants (n = 30) agree that the information contained within the formulary was found to be useful (26), the formulary helped them learn which HMPs are present in the local market (29), the formulary is user friendly (27), information included is up-to-date and well referenced (29) and that there is the need for a formulary of this kind in Malta (28).
Conclusions
The formulary was found to be a useful tool for HCPs leading to high quality, evidence-based prescribing together with enhanced monitoring and improved patient care.
doi:10.1016/j.jyp.2013.01.003
PMCID: PMC3758078  PMID: 24023448
Formulary; Healthcare; Herbal medicine; Pharmacist; Usefulness

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