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Pharmacy Practice Research
Pharmacy practice research is a specialty within the wider area of health services research. As such its aims are similar but the context is limited to settings where pharmacists are employed or medicines are prescribed, supplied or used. It examines how and why people access pharmacy services, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care. It is research which seeks to understand and optimise the way professionals, patients and the public think about and access medicines and pharmacy services.
The goals of pharmacy practice research are to support the clinical and effective use of medicines, ensuring that associated risks are minimised and effect is maximised. In general, but not exclusively, it is concerned with the delivery of and access to pharmaceutical care, and other health related services delivered by pharmacists and their staff. It is undertaken by researchers, usually based in universities, from a wide range of health care disciplines. These are often pharmacists together with statisticians, health psychologists, social scientists, health economists, and epidemiologists who are regularly involved as well as doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.
The approaches taken can be summarised under the broad areas of understanding and describing the way care is accessed and delivered, identifying areas for improvement and evaluating new service models using rigorous research approaches.
Pharmacy practice research often challenges traditional professional boundaries, reflecting the shift in the balance of care currently observed in health care delivery. For example many conditions primarily managed solely in a hospital (secondary care) setting are now managed in primary care, and many roles particularly delivered by doctors, are now being delivered by other health care professionals including pharmacists. It is important to understand the clinical, humanistic and economic impact of these changes from the perspectives of pharmacists, patients and other health care professionals.
Pharmacy Practice Research findings have underpinned or supported some of the recent policy changes affecting pharmacy. In some instances they have been the driver for a new service to be delivered through pharmacy (e.g. smoking cessation (1), repeat dispensing (2)), in some instances they have provided evidence to underpin a policy change (e.g. pharmacist prescribing) and in some instances they have been used to evaluate a newly implemented initiative and make recommendations for continuation or change of the service (e.g. new Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (3), Medicine Use Reviews (4), New Medicines Service (5)).
- 1. Sinclair, H.K., Bond, C.M, Stead. L.F. Community pharmacy personnel interventions for smoking cessation The Cochrane Library 2004 Issue 1
- 2. Bond, C.M. , Matheson, C., Williams, S., Williams, P. Repeat Prescribing: An evaluation of the role of community pharmacists in controlling and monitoring repeat prescribing British Journal of General Practice; 2000:50;271-5
- 3. Blenkinsopp A, Bond C.M Celino G, and Inch J. The implications of the new Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) for the community pharmacy workforce October 2008 RPSGB-PPRT
- 4.http://www.networks.nhs.uk/nhs-networks/south-east-coast-respiratory-programme/news/formal-evaluation-of-the-inhaler-technique-improvement-project/?searchterm=evaluation%20of%20inhaler%20technique%20improvement accessed 12-12-12
- 5. http://public.ukcrn.org.uk/search/StudyDetail.aspx?StudyID=12494 accessed 12-12-12
Specialist Pharmacy Practice Journals: