Patient Perspectives on Community Pharmacy Services

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: Community pharmacy practice is changing, putting a greater emphasis on patient involvement and empowerment than on physical drug products. Developing practice philosophies, such as pharmaceutical care, are operationalised through an ever-evolving service proliferation. There is, however, a paucity of studies addressing the patients’ subjective perceptions of pharmacy services. The few studies that measure the impact of pharmacy services on humanistic outcomes show little or no effect. This might be due to the services, or the assessment instruments used.The aim of this thesis was to enhance the understanding of how patients perceive community pharmacy services, their preferences for community pharmacy services, and how these services could be evaluated from the patient perspective.This was done by: 1.exploring patients’ perceptions of an existing pharmaceutical care service using in-depth interviews; 2. exploring patient preferences for the ideal pharmacy visit using Q methodology, and characterising those patient groups that have different preferences and; 3. testing the validity of the Swedish version of the Pharmaceutical Therapy-Related Quality of Life (PTRQoL)-instrument, using think aloud methodology.Patients had vague, and sometimes erroneous, understandings about a pharmaceutical care service that they were currently receiving. They reported that the service had increased their feeling of safety, enhanced their knowledge, provided drug treatment control, and empowered them. Seven different viewpoints of the ideal pharmacy service were identified, which could be broadly divided into two groups, those emphasising the physical drug products as central to the encounter and those seeking a relationship with the pharmacist. Some differences between the group characteristics were identified, but not specific enough to guide individualised care practice. Several problems with the validity of the PTRQoL-instrument were detected. Overall, the thesis has highlighted various aspects of patient perspectives on community pharmacy services that could be used for the development andassessment of such services.