Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) are groups of practitioners and researchers with an interest in designing, evaluating and disseminating solutions to the real-world problems of clinical practices.
To evaluate the level of interest of community pharmacists in participating in a PBRN and to document the services such a network should offer.
In a survey of community pharmacists in Montreal, Quebec, and surrounding areas, a questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 1250 pharmacists. Two of the 28 questions were related to PBRNs: one assessed the pharmacists’ interest in participating in a PBRN; the other sought their views on which services and activities this network should offer.
In total, 571 (45.7%) pharmacists completed the questionnaire, but 6 did not answer the questions about the PBRN. Of the respondents, 58.9% indicated they were “very interested” or “interested” in joining a PBRN, while 41.1% reported little or no interest. The most popular potential services identified were access to clinical tools developed in research projects (77.0%), access to continuing education training programs developed in research projects (75.9%), information about conferences on pharmacy practice research (64.1%) and participation in the development of new pharmaceutical practices (56.1%).
This study suggests that the level of interest that community pharmacists have in PBRNs is sufficient to further evaluate how such networks may optimize and facilitate pharmacy practice research. Can Pharm J 2013;146:47-54.
To ascertain the opinions of graduating family physicians about collaboration between family physicians and community pharmacists.
Anonymous online survey.
Two French-Canadian university family medicine residency programs.
The 2010 and 2011 graduating family physicians (N = 343) from the University of Montreal and Laval University in Quebec.
Main outcome measures
Content of written prescriptions; frequency of and reasons for consultations with community pharmacists; and graduates’ perceptions of sharing professional responsibilities with community pharmacists.
The response rate was 54.2%. Overall, graduates were open to collaborating actively with community pharmacists. For example, at least 60% of graduates reported that it was important to write on prescriptions about any changes to patients’ medication and creatinine clearance. Most graduates responded positively to sharing responsibility for the adjustment of treatment of patients with certain chronic conditions (88.3% for anticoagulation, 64.7% for hypercholesterolemia, 61.2% for hypertension, and 60.6% for diabetes) and for the initiation of treatment of minor conditions according to a collective prescription (80.6% for traveler’s diarrhea, 74.1% for juvenile acne, and 73.6% for allergic rhinitis). However, such interprofessional collaboration requires that each professional group continues to adapt to its roles and responsibilities.
Family medicine graduates are open to actively collaborating with community pharmacists, but they have some reservations regarding sharing certain responsibilities. As collaborative practices are changing, graduates’ opinions should be documented once they are actually practising.
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.
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.
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%).
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.
Community pharmacists; Cross-sectional study; Health promotion; Prevention; Public health
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.
Pharmacist prescribing; Australia; pharmacy clients; Australian pharmacy; non-medical prescribing
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pharmacists participating in the study felt that a checklist for medication order review had a role in training new pharmacists and standardizing processes.
checklist; pharmacist; medication order review; liste de contrôle; pharmacien; validation des ordonnances de médicaments
Study objective: To describe seasonal congestive heart failure (CHF) mortality and hospitalisations in Quebec, Canada between 1990–1998 and compare trends in CHF mortality and morbidity with those in France.
Design: Population cohort study.
Setting: Province of Quebec, Canada.
Patients: Mortality data were obtained from the Quebec Death Certificate Registry and hospitalisation from the Quebec Med-Echo hospital discharge database. Cases with primary ICD-9 code 428 were considered cases of CHF.
Results: Monthly CHF mortality was higher in January, declined until September and then rose steadily (p<0.05). Hospital admissions for CHF declined from May until September (moving averages analysis p<0.0001). Seasonal mortality patterns observed in Quebec were similar to those observed in France.
Conclusion: CHF mortality in Quebec is highest during the winter and declines in the summer, similar to observations in France and Scotland. This suggests that absolute temperatures may not necessarily be that important but increased CHF mortality is observed once environmental temperatures fall below a certain "threshold" temperature. Alternatively better internal heating and warmer clothing required for survival in Quebec may ameliorate mortality patterns despite colder external environments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To gauge perceptions and expectations of the public on the role of community
pharmacists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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
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.
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.
Community Pharmacy Services; Pharmacies; Professional Practice; Consumer Satisfaction; Focus Groups; United Arab Emirates
Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive impacts of pharmacists on patient outcomes. To capitalize on these positive impacts, hospital pharmacy organizations around the world are now calling on pharmacists to shift their focus from distribution of medications to patient outcomes. This new emphasis is consistent with the vision statement for the profession of pharmacy in Canada, as set out in the Blueprint for Pharmacy: “Optimal drug therapy outcomes for Canadians through patient-centred care”. Given the ambitious nature of this statement and these goals, it is essential to understand what pharmacists currently think of their practice.
To conduct a qualitative and semiquantitative analysis of hospital pharmacists’ perceptions of their role in patient care.
A researcher posing as a University of Alberta student who was studying how health professionals use language to describe what they do contacted the pharmacy departments of all hospitals in Alberta. The “top-of-mind” approach was used in asking hospital pharmacists 2 questions: (1) How many years have you been practising pharmacy? (2) In 3 or 4 words (or phrases), from your perspective could you please tell me, “What does a pharmacist do”? These techniques were used to minimize the impact of social desirability bias. Content analysis was used to categorize hospital pharmacists’ responses into 4 broad categories: patient-centred, drug-focused, drug distribution, and ambiguous.
A total of 103 phone calls were made to hospital pharmacies, and 85 pharmacists contacted in this way were willing to participate in the survey. Hospital pharmacists provided 333 individual responses to the question about their activities. Of these, 79 (23.7%) were patient-centred, 98 (29.4%) were drug-focused, and 82 (24.6%) were in the drug-distribution category. Ambiguous responses accounted for the remaining 74 (22.2%).
Aspects of care categorized as other than patient-centred should not be construed as unimportant. However, the fact that they were reported in this survey more frequently than patient-centred aspects suggests that hospital pharmacists in Alberta may have not fully embraced the concept of patient-centred care as outlined in the Blueprint for Pharmacy.
patient-centred; drug-focused; drug distribution; top-of-mind approach; hospital pharmacist; pharmacy culture; pratique axée sur le patient; pratique axée sur les médicaments; distribution des médicaments; analyse des réponses spontanées; pharmacien d’hôpital; culture de la pharmacie
Theory-based approaches are advocated to improve our understanding of prescription behaviour. This study is an application of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) with additional variables. It was designed to assess which variables were associated with the intention to prescribe hormone therapy (HT). In addition, variations in the measures across medical specialities (GPs and gynaecologists) and across countries (France and Quebec) were investigated.
A survey among 2,000 doctors from France and 1,044 doctors from Quebec was conducted. Data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire. A clinical vignette was used to elicit doctors' opinions. The following TPB variables were assessed: attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control, attitudinal beliefs, normative beliefs and power of control beliefs. Additional variables (role belief, moral norm and practice pattern-related factors) were also assessed. A stepwise logistic regression was used to assess which variables were associated with the intention to prescribe HT. GPs and gynaecologists were compared to each other within countries and the two countries were compared within the specialties.
Overall, 1,085 doctors from France returned their questionnaire and 516 doctors from Quebec (response rate = 54% and 49%, respectively). In the overall regression model, power of control beliefs, moral norm and role belief were significantly associated with intention (all at p < 0.0001). The models by specialty and country were: for GPs in Quebec, power of control beliefs (p < 0.0001), moral norm (p < 0.01) and cytology and hormonal dosage (both at p < 0.05); for GPs in France, power of control beliefs and role belief (both at p < 0.0001) and perception of behavioural control (p < 0.05) and cessation of menses (p < 0.01); for gynaecologists in Quebec, moral norm and power of control beliefs (both at p = 0.01); and for gynaecologists in France, power of control beliefs (p < 0.0001), and moral norm, role belief and lipid profile (all at p < 0.05).
In both countries, compared with GPs, intention to prescribe HT was higher for gynaecologists. Psychosocial determinants of doctors' intention to prescribe HT varied according to the specialty and the country thus, suggesting an influence of contextual factors on these determinants.
Although interruption of endemic measles was achieved in the Americas in 2002, Quebec experienced an outbreak in 2011 of 776 reported cases; 80% of these individuals had not been fully vaccinated. We analyzed readers’ online responses to Canadian news articles regarding the outbreak to better understand public perceptions of measles and vaccination.
We searched Canadian online English and French news sites for articles posted between April 2011 and March 2012 containing the words “measles” and “Quebec”. We included articles that i) concerned the outbreak or related vaccination strategies; and ii) generated at least ten comments. Two English and two bilingual researchers coded the unedited comments, categorizing codes to allow themes to emerge.
We analyzed 448 comments from 188 individuals, in response to three French articles and six English articles; 112 individuals expressed positive perceptions of measles vaccination (2.2 comments/person), 38 were negative (4.2 comments/person), 11 had mixed feelings (1.5 comments/person), and 27 expressed no opinion (1.1 comments/person). Vaccine-supportive themes involved the success of vaccination in preventing disease spread, societal responsibility to vaccinate for herd immunity, and refutation of the autism link. Those against measles vaccination felt it was a personal rather than societal choice, and conveyed a distrust of vaccine manufacturers, believing that measles infection is not only safe but safer than vaccination. Commenters with mixed feelings expressed uncertainty of the infection’s severity, and varied in support of all vaccines based on perceived risk/benefit ratios.
The anti-vaccine minority’s volume of comments translates to a disproportionately high representation on online boards. Public health messages should address concerns by emphasizing that immunization is always a personal choice in Canada, and that the pharmaceutical industry is strictly controlled. Illustrating the dangers of measles through personal stories, rather than scientific data only, may also serve to strengthen messaging.
What is the level of knowledge of pharmacists concerning pain management and the use of opioids at the end of life, and how do they cooperate with physicians?
A written questionnaire was sent to a sample of community and hospital pharmacists in the Netherlands. The questionnaire was completed by 182 pharmacists (response rate 45%).
Pharmacists were aware of the most basic knowledge about opioids. Among the respondents, 29% erroneously thought that life-threatening respiratory depression was a danger with pain control, and 38% erroneously believed that opioids were the preferred drug for palliative sedation. One in three responding pharmacists did not think his/her theoretical knowledge was sufficient to provide advice on pain control. Most pharmacists had working agreements with physicians on euthanasia (81%), but fewer had working agreements on palliative sedation (46%) or opioid therapy (25%). Based on the experience of most of responding pharmacists (93%), physicians were open to unsolicited advice on opioid prescriptions. The majority of community pharmacists (94%) checked opioid prescriptions most often only after dispensing, while it was not a common practice among the majority of hospital pharmacists (68%) to check prescriptions at all.
Although the basic knowledge of most pharmacists was adequate, based on the responses to the questionnaire, there seems to be a lack of knowledge in several areas, which may hamper pharmacists in improving the quality of care when giving advice to physicians and preventing or correcting mistakes if necessary. If education is improved, a more active role of the pharmacist may improve the quality of end-of-life pharmacotherapy.
Opioids; Pain management; Pharmacists; Knowledge; Education; Multidisciplinary cooperation
In the last decades, the provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists has developed in OECD countries. These developments involved significant changes in professional practices and organization of primary care. In France, they have recently been encouraged by a new legal framework and favored by an increasing demand for health care (increase in the number of patients with chronic diseases) and reductions in services being offered (reduction in the number of general practitioners and huge regional disparities).
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate final-year pharmacy students' opinions on 1/expanding the scope of pharmacists' practices and 2/the potential barriers for the implementation of pharmaceutical care. We discussed these in the light of the experiences of pharmacists in Quebec, and other countries in Europe (United Kingdom and the Netherlands).
All final-year students in pharmaceutical studies, preparing to become community pharmacists, at the University Paris-Descartes in Paris during 2010 (n = 146) were recruited. All of them were interviewed by means of a questionnaire describing nine "professional" practices by pharmacists, arranged in four dimensions: (1) screening and chronic disease management, (2) medication surveillance, (3) pharmacy-prescribed medication and (4) participation in health care networks. Respondents were asked (1) how positively they view the extension of their current practices, using a 5 point Likert scale and (2) their perception of potential professional, technical, organizational and/or financial obstacles to developing these practices.
143 (97.9%) students completed the questionnaire. Most of practices studied received a greater than 80% approval rating, although only a third of respondents were in favor of the sales of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The most significant perceived barriers were working time, remuneration and organizational problems, specifically the need to create a physical location for consultations to respect patients' privacy within a pharmacy.
Despite remaining barriers to cross, this study showed that future French pharmacists were keen to develop their role in patient care, beyond the traditional role of dispensing. However, the willingness of doctors and patients to consent should be investigated and also rigorous studies to support or refute the positive impact of pharmaceutical care on the quality of care should be carried out.
Objective. To assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of student pharmacists and explore factors related to HRQoL outcomes of student pharmacists in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program at a public university.
Methods. A survey instrument was administered to all student pharmacists in a PharmD program at a public university to evaluate differences and factors related to the HRQoL outcomes of first-year (P1), second-year (P2), third-year (P3), and fourth-year (P4) student pharmacists in the college. The survey instrument included attitudes and academic-related self-perception, a 12-item short form health survey, and personal information components.
Results. There were 304 students (68.6%) who completed the survey instrument. The average health state classification measure and mental health component scale (MCS-12) scores were significantly higher for P4 students when compared with the P1through P3 students. There was no difference observed in the physical component scale (PCS-12) scores among each of the 4 class years. Significant negative impact on HRQoL outcomes was observed in students with higher levels of confusion about how they should study (scale lack of regulation) and concern about not being negatively perceived by others (self-defeating ego orientation), while school satisfaction increased HRQoL outcomes (SF-6D, p<0.001; MCS-12, p=0.013). A greater desire to be judged capable (self-enhancing ego-orientation) and career satisfaction were positively associated with the PCS-12 scores (p<0.05).
Conclusion. Factors associated with the HRQoL of student pharmacists were confusion regarding how to study, ego orientation, satisfaction with the chosen college of pharmacy, and career satisfaction. First-year through third-year student pharmacists had lower HRQoL as compared with P4 students and the US general population. Support programs may be helpful for students to maintain or improve their mental and overall health.
health-related quality of life; student pharmacists; perceived self-efficacy; ego-orientation
Objectives. To describe the work factors associated with 28 different career areas as reported by pharmacists who responded to the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Career Pathway Evaluation Program for Pharmacy Professionals, 2012 Pharmacist Profile Survey
Methods. Data from the 1,119 completed survey instruments from the 2012 Pharmacist Profile Survey were analyzed. Exploratory factor analysis was used to identify the underlying factors that best represented respondents’ work setting profiles.
Results. Eleven underlying factors were identified for the respondents’ work setting profiles: patient care, application of clinical knowledge, innovation, stress, research, managerial responsibility, work schedule flexibility, job position flexibility, self-actualization, geographic location, and continuity of coworker relationships. Findings revealed variation for these underlying factors among career categories.
Conclusion. Variation among pharmacist career types exists. The profiles constructed in this study describe the characteristics of various career paths and can be helpful for decisions regarding educational, experiential, residency, and certification training in pharmacist careers.
pharmacist; career; work setting profile; pharmacist; survey
Despite strong evidence for using clinical care pathways to manage acute pediatric asthma, adherence remains suboptimal.
To elicit information from health care professionals regarding their knowledge, attitudes and use of a care pathway for acute childhood asthma.
A cross-sectional, self-administered survey of physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists who worked in the emergency department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (Montreal, Quebec) from August to December 2007 was conducted. The survey assessed knowledge, attitude toward and agreement with the care pathway, as well as its use four years after its implementation.
Of the 128 health care professionals surveyed, 72 (56%) responded. Of these, 99% reported being familiar with the pathway, more than 90% agreed with its use for mild and moderate asthma, while 79% agreed with its use for severe asthma. For 99% of health care professionals, the advantages of using the pathway outweighed the disadvantages; however, 64% admitted to making variations to the pathway. Although 92% of respondents reported that they were quite comfortable with using the asthma severity Pediatric Respiratory Assessment Measure, only 53% and 36% correctly identified the severity score cut-offs for moderate and severe asthma, respectively. Seventeen per cent of respondents underestimated the delay of onset of action of oral corticosteroids, while 36% of physicians incorrectly believed that a higher than necessary dose was recommended for ipratropium bromide.
Results of the survey confirmed that the health care professionals queried had a positive attitude toward the pediatric asthma care pathway. Knowledge gaps and the balance between standardization versus individualization of care may be key elements to explain suboptimal adherence to the pathway.
Barriers; Clinical practice guidelines; Emergency; Pediatric asthma; Survey
Pharmacists play an important part in primary health care, and their accessibility is a key factor. Their NHS payments relate predominantly to the dispensing of prescribed medicines; to recognise the service element of their advisory role, an NHS funded professional fee could be built into the cost structure for pharmacy medicines. The increased number of medicines available over the counter has highlighted the need for training for counter assistants; it will become compulsory in July 1996, and some family health services authorities are providing this. The shift to care in the community could mean that pharmacists will have an even greater role in the primary health care team. Encouraging the public to seek advice from the community pharmacist may lead to a greater proportion of visits to doctors resulting from referrals from the pharmacist. Joint development by pharmacists and doctors of guidelines for advice on, and recommendation of, over the counter medicines is needed.
Natural health products (NHPs) such as herbs, vitamins and homeopathic medicines, are currently available for sale in most Canadian pharmacies. However, most pharmacists report that they have limited knowledge about these products which have been regulated in Canada as a specific sub-category of drugs. In this paper, consumers' and practicing pharmacists' perceptions of pharmacists' professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs are examined.
A total of 16 focus groups were conducted with consumers (n = 50) and pharmacists (n = 47) from four different cities across Canada (Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Halifax).
In this paper, we illustrate the ways in which pharmacists' professional responsibilities are impacted by changing consumer needs. Many consumers in the study utilized a wide range of information resources that may or may not have included pharmacists. Nevertheless, the majority of consumers and pharmacists agreed that pharmacists should be knowledgeable about NHPs and felt that pharmacists should be able to manage drug-NHPs interactions as well as identify and evaluate the variety of information available to help consumers make informed decisions.
This paper demonstrates that consumers' expectations and behaviour significantly impact pharmacists' perceptions of their professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs.
To determine the perceptions of pharmacy interns and newly registered pharmacists and preceptors regarding the preparedness of graduates to enter professional practice.
A questionnaire was developed from the New Zealand Competence Standards for the Pharmacy Profession (pharmacist level), with additional questions on communication skills included. The instrument contained 16 items and was mailed to preceptors (n=141), interns (n=72), and newly-registered pharmacists (n=101). Microsoft Excel (pivot tables) was used to analyse the quantitative responses. The final question asked respondents to provide free-text comments about the questionnaire, graduates and the program and responses were analyzed quantitatively and thematically.
The response rates were 54.6% (n = 77) for preceptors, 100% (n = 72) for interns and 45.5% (n = 46), for newly registered pharmacists. The majority of responses (87.6%; n=2,562) were in agreement that the degree had prepared graduates for practice. Overall, preceptor perceptions of graduates' preparedness for practice were less favorable than graduates' self-perceptions of their preparedness. Four themes were identified from the free-text comments: the need for improved skills, more professional attitudes, better English communication, and additional training in extemporaneous compounding.
Feedback elicited from graduates and preceptors was helpful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a new bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) program and proved useful in both the accreditation and curriculum revision processes.
competence; accreditation; BPharm degree; preceptor; pharmacy practice
Syndromic surveillance systems have been developed in recent years and are now increasingly used by stakeholders to quickly answer questions and make important decisions. It is therefore essential to evaluate the quality and utility of such systems. This study was designed to assess a syndromic surveillance system based on emergency departments' (ED) morbidity rates related to the health effects of heat waves. This study uses data collected during the 2006 heat wave in France.
Data recorded from 15 EDs in the Ile-de-France (Paris and surrounding area) from June to August, 2006, were transmitted daily via the Internet to the French Institute for Public Health Surveillance. Items collected included diagnosis (ICD10), outcome, and age. Several aspects of the system have been evaluated (data quality, cost, flexibility, stability, and performance). Periods of heat wave are considered the most suitable time to evaluate the system.
Data quality did not vary significantly during the period. Age, gender and outcome were completed in a comprehensive manner. Diagnoses were missing or uninformative for 37.5% of patients. Stability was recorded as being 99.49% for the period overall. The average cost per day over the study period was estimated to be €287. Diagnoses of hyperthermia, malaise, dehydration, hyponatremia were correlated with increased temperatures. Malaise was most sensitive in younger and elderly adults but also the less specific. However, overall syndrome groups were more sensitive with comparable specificity than individual diagnoses.
This system satisfactorily detected the health impact of hot days (observed values were higher than expected on more than 90% of days on which a heat alert was issued). Our findings should reassure stakeholders about the reliability of health impact assessments during or following such an event. These evaluations are essential to establish the validity of the results of syndromic surveillance systems.
To assess the public’s attitudes towards the community pharmacist’s role in Qatar, to investigate the public’s use of community pharmacy, and to determine the public’s views of and satisfaction with community pharmacy services currently provided in Qatar.
Materials and methods
Three community pharmacies in Qatar were randomly selected as study sites. Patients 16 years of age and over who were able to communicate in English or Arabic were randomly approached and anonymously interviewed using a multipart pretested survey.
Over 5 weeks, 58 patients were interviewed (60% response rate). A total of 45% of respondents perceived community pharmacists as having a good balance between health and business matters. The physician was considered the first person to contact to answer drug- related questions by 50% of respondents. Most patients agreed that the community pharmacist should provide them with the medication directions of use (93%) and advise them about the treatment of minor ailments (79%); however, more than 70% didn’t expect the community pharmacist to monitor their health progress or to perform any health screening. Half of the participants (52%) reported visiting the pharmacy at least monthly. The top factor that affected a patient’s choice of any pharmacy was pharmacy location (90%). When asked about their views about community pharmacy services in Qatar, only 37% agreed that the pharmacist gave them sufficient time to discuss their problem and was knowledgeable enough to answer their questions.
This pilot study suggested that the public has a poor understanding of the community pharmacist’s role in monitoring drug therapy, performing health screening, and providing drug information. Several issues of concern were raised including insufficient pharmacist– patient contact time and unsatisfactory pharmacist knowledge. To advance pharmacy practice in Qatar, efforts may be warranted to address identified issues and to promote the community pharmacist’s role in drug therapy monitoring, drug information provision, and health screening.
pharmacist; public; attitudes; Qatar
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Scientific literature shows that prevention of CHD is inadequate. The clinical pharmacist’s role in patient-centred care has been shown favourable in a large amount of studies, also in relation to reduction of risk factors related to CHD. We developed and piloted a pharmacist-led follow-up program for patients with established CHD after hospital discharge from a hospital in North Norway. The aim of the present study was to explore how participants in the follow-up program experienced the program with regard to four main topics; medication knowledge, feeling of safety and comfort with medications, the functionality of the program and the clinical pharmacist’s role in the interdisciplinary team.
We performed semi-structured thematic interviews with four patients included in the program. After verbatim transcribing, we analysed the interviews using “qualitative content analyses” by Graneheim and Lundman. Trial registration http://www.clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01131715.
All participants appreciated the follow-up program because their medication knowledge had increased, participation had made them feel safe, they were reassured about the appropriateness of their medications, and they had become more involved in their own medication. The participants reported that the program was well structured and the clinical pharmacist was said to be an important caretaker in the health-care system. The importance of collaboration between pharmacists and physicians, both in hospital and primary care, was emphasized.
Our results indicate that the follow-up program was highly appreciated among the four participants included in this study. The results must be interpreted in the context of the health care system in Norway today. Here, few pharmacists are working in hospitals or in close relation to the general practitioners. In addition, physicians are short of time in order to supply appropriate medication information, both in hospital and primary care. Involving pharmacists in follow-up of patients with CHD seems to be highly appreciated among patients and may be a step towards improving patient care. The study is limited by the low number of participants.
Qualitative study; Patient experience; Follow-up program; Clinical pharmacist; Coronary heart disease
The purpose was to assess factors potentially affecting care pharmacists
provide to HIV/AIDS patients including comfort level, confidence, education,
experience, professional competence, continuity of care and patient-provider
relationship between pharmacists and HIV-infected patients.
A 24-item questionnaire assessed the constructs of this study. Surveys were
distributed from October 2009 to April 2010 to pharmacists in Alabama with
varying levels of experience treating HIV-infected patients. Chi-square
tests determined whether relationships existed between responses, consisting
of how often respondents reported treating HIV-infected patients, amount of
HIV education respondents had, participants’ confidence with HIV/AIDS
knowledge and comfort level counseling HIV-infected patients about their
Thirty-three percent of the pharmacists cared for HIV-infected patients on a
monthly basis, yet 86% do not feel very confident with their HIV/AIDS
knowledge. Forty-four percent were not comfortable counseling patients on
antiretroviral medications, and 77% would feel more comfortable with more
education. Significant, positive relationships were revealed concerning how
often respondents treat HIV-infected patients and their comfort level
counseling them (r=0.208, p<0.05). Similar relationships pertaining to
the amount of education respondents had regarding HIV, how confident they
are in their HIV/AIDS knowledge (r=0.205, p< 0.05), and their comfort
level counseling HIV-infected patients on their medications (r=0.312,
p<0.01) were found. The time spent treating HIV-infected patients and the
education respondents had pertaining to HIV/AIDS related to increased
comfort levels concerning counseling patients on their medications.
This research uncovered areas where pharmacists can improve care and
treatment for HIV-infected patients. Increasing education on HIV/AIDS and
treatment options may lead to increased comfort and confidence in
therapeutic management. Through changes in pharmacists’ perspectives and
abilities to care for their patients, the patient-provider relationship
could strengthen, potentially leading to improved medication compliance,
enhanced overall health, and a better quality of life for HIV-infected
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Pharmacists; United States
In Quebec, the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic was managed using a top-down style that left many involved players with critical views and frustrations. We aimed to describe physicians' perceptions - infectious diseases specialists/medical microbiologists (IDMM) and public health/preventive medicine specialists (PHPMS) - in regards to issues encountered with the pandemics management at the physician level and highlight suggested improvements for future healthcare emergencies.
In April 2010, Quebec IDMM and PHPMS physicians were invited to anonymously complete a web-based learning needs assessment. The survey included both open-ended and multiple-choice questions. Descriptive statistics were used to report on the frequency distribution of multiple choice responses whereas thematic content analysis was used to analyse qualitative data generated from the survey and help understand respondents' experience and perceptions with the pandemics.
Of the 102 respondents, 85.3% reported difficulties or frustrations in their practice during the pandemic. The thematic analysis revealed two core themes describing the problems experienced in the pandemic management: coordination and resource-related difficulties. Coordination issues included communication, clinical practice guidelines, decision-making, roles and responsibilities, epidemiological investigation, and public health expert advisory committees. Resources issues included laboratory resources, patient management, and vaccination process.
Together, the quantitative and qualitative data suggest a need for improved coordination, a better definition of roles and responsibilities, increased use of information technologies, merged communications, and transparency in the decisional process. Increased flexibility and less contradiction in clinical practice guidelines from different sources and increased laboratory/clinical capacity were felt critical to the proper management of infectious disease emergencies.
Influenza; Pandemic; Public health emergency; Management; Physicians' perceptions; Mixed methods exploratory survey