Community pharmacists’ attitudes towards medicines use reviews and factors affecting the numbers performed
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Objective of the study Medicines use review and prescription intervention (‘MUR services’) is the first advanced service within the NHS community pharmacy contract and is a structured review that is undertaken by a pharmacists with patients on multiple medicines. The objective of this study was to investigate factors that influence the number of Medicines use reviews (MURs) performed by community pharmacists and to explore community pharmacists’ attitudes towards the service. Setting This study was conducted with pharmacists who were employed by one UK community pharmacy chain. Method A questionnaire was developed to investigate factors that influence the number of MURs performed and pharmacists’ attitudes towards MURs. It consisted of a series of attitudinal statements together with brief demographic data. Questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 280 pharmacists accredited to provide the service during April and May 2006. Main outcome measure Factors affecting the number of MURs performed and community pharmacists’ attitudes towards MURs. Results Sixty per cent (167/280) of pharmacists returned a completed questionnaire. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents had not performed any MURs, 43% had conducted one to 14 reviews and 31% had conducted 15 or more. Job title affected the number of reviews performed; respondents categorised as ‘Store based’ pharmacists performed significantly more MURs than those working as ‘Locums’ but not significantly more than ‘Managing’ pharmacists. Pharmacists reporting access to an accredited consultation area performed significantly more MURs than those who did not. Those working more than 20 h per week performed significantly more MURs than those working less. Gender, time since qualification, the pharmacy size and those having or currently undertaking a clinical diploma were not found to be associated with the number of MURs performed. Most respondents reported that MURs were an opportunity for pharmacist to use their professional skills in an extended role and patients would benefit from the service. However they reported concerns about GPs opinion of the service, lack of time and support staff to conduct MURs and were unhappy about consultation areas. Conclusion This study demonstrates that pharmacists perceive MURs to be an opportunity for an extended role and of value to patients. However, this study has identified perceived barriers, including the availability of a consultation area suitable for performing MURs, time to perform MURs and support staff. The number of MURs performed by pharmacists appears to be affected by the pharmacists’ job title, their working hours and the presence of a consultation area. Additional support for ‘locum’ pharmacists was also highlighted and may be needed.
KeywordsAttitudes Community pharmacist Concordance Drug use reviews Medicines use reviews Questionnaire United Kingdom
The authors would like to thank the study participants, the pharmacy chain where this study was conducted for allowing this study to take place and to Division of Social Research in Medicines and Health, School of Pharmacy, The University of Nottingham.
Financial support of the study
Conflict of interests
AL worked part-time for the community pharmacy chain where this study was conducted.
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