Surveys and services: The feasibility of conducting research in Swedish community pharmacies

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Auditorium Minus, Museum Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Frisk, Pia
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för farmaceutisk biovetenskap
  • Kontaktperson: Frisk, Pia
  • Disputation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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