Optimal medication management requires an effective relationship between the patient and health care professional. As pharmacists move from the traditional dispensing role to become more actively involved in patient care, factors influencing their relationship with patients need to be identified. A better understanding of these factors will facilitate more effective relationships.
To explore the effect of patient-perceived pharmacist expertise on relationship quality, self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, and relationship commitment.
This was a cross-sectional study conducted in five community pharmacies within the province of Alberta, Canada. A total of 500 patients were asked to complete a set of validated, self-administered questionnaires that measured perceived pharmacist expertise, relationship quality, self-efficacy, patient satisfaction, and relationship commitment. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to examine the associations between variables.
A total of 112 surveys were returned. Internal consistency ranged from 0.86–0.92, suggesting good reliability, except for the relationship commitment scale. There was a significant, positive correlation between patient-perceived pharmacist expertise and quality of the relationship (0.78; P < 0.001). There were also significant, positive correlations between perceived expertise and patient satisfaction (0.52; P < 0.001) and relationship commitment (0.47; P < 0.001). These associations remained significant but the magnitude of correlation decreased when relationship quality was taken into account (0.55; P < 0.001 and 0.56; P < 0.001, respectively). On the other hand, there was no significant association between either patient-perceived pharmacist expertise or relationship quality and medication self-efficacy (0.06; P = 0.517 and 0.10; P = 0.292, respectively).
Patient-perceived pharmacist expertise is an independent determinant of relationship quality, patient satisfaction, and relationship commitment. Relationship quality also appears to mediate the effect of perceived expertise on patient satisfaction and relationship commitment.