International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 584–592 | Cite as

Cooperation between community pharmacists and general practitioners in eastern Germany: attitudes and needs

  • Anna-Franziska Wüstmann
  • Carsten Haase-Strey
  • Thomas Kubiak
  • Christoph Alexander RitterEmail author
Research Article


Background Regions of decreasing medical supply with long distances to pharmacy or practice require a good collaboration between practitioners and pharmacists. Objective To determine and compare the attitudes of community pharmacists and practitioners towards each other regarding collaboration. Setting Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Germany. Method 749 general practitioners and practitioners specialized in diabetes care as well as 344 community pharmacists received a 38-item survey regarding their interrelations and attitudes towards each other. Main outcome measure Descriptive statistics of the practitioners’ attitudes towards pharmacists in comparison to the pharmacists’ attitudes towards practitioners in terms of perception of their role, reliability, functions, frequency and helpfulness of contact, cooperation in promoting medication adherence and quality of communication. Results Response rates were 19.4 % (n = 145) for practitioners and 24.4 % (n = 84) for pharmacists. 144 (76.6 %) of practitioners and 79 (71.5 %) of pharmacists strongly trusted the other health care providers’ statements and expertise (p = 0.0076). Practitioner–pharmacist interactions on average were of low frequency. They were, however, perceived to be helpful. The majority of pharmacists (62.7 %) regard their responsibility to ensure adherence with long-term medication to be equal to that of general practitioners. In contrast, the vast majority of practitioners (90.1 %) estimated their proportion of responsibility for adherence to long-term medication to be 75 % or more. At the same time, practitioners perceived the pharmacists’ current influence on patient adherence to long-term medication as generally positive (65.0 %). This is in line with the pharmacists’ self-perception (94.7 %). Conclusion The general trust of both health care providers towards each other is a good pre-condition for further collaborations. However, increased frequency in practitioner–pharmacist-interactions is necessary. Additionally, the role perceptions of pharmacists and practitioners should be harmonised as there are still misunderstandings in the responsibilities of both parties.


Attitudes Cooperation Germany Physician–pharmacist-relationship Role perception 



We acknowledge all participants of our survey. Anna-Franziska Wüstmann and Carsten Haase-Strey contributed equally to the publication.


Part of this survey was funded by the Förderinitiative Pharmazeutische Betreuung e.V., Berlin, Germany.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.


  1. 1.
    Fiss T, Dreier A, Meinke C, van den Berg N, Ritter CA, Hoffmann W. Frequency of inappropriate drugs in primary care: analysis of a sample of immobile patients who received periodic home visits. Age Ageing. 2011;40(1):66–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fiss T, Ritter CA, Alte D, van den Berg N, Hoffmann W. Detection of drug related problems in an interdisciplinary health care model for rural areas in Germany. Pharm World Sci. 2010;32(5):566–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hoffmann W, van den Berg N, Thyrian JR, Fiss T. Frequency and determinants of potential drug–drug interactions in an elderly population receiving regular home visits by GPs-results of the home medication review in the AGnES-studies. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2011;20(12):1311–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Geurts MME, Talsma J, Brouwers JRBJ, de Gier JJ. Medication review and reconciliation with cooperation between pharmacist and general practitioner and the benefit for the patient: a systematic review. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2012;74(1):16–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chisholm-Burns MA, Kim Lee J, Spivey CA, Slack M, Herrier RN, Hall-Lipsy E, et al. US pharmacists’ effect as team members on patient care: systematic review and meta-analyses. Med Care. 2010;48(10):923–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alkhateeb FM, Clauson KA, McCafferty R, Latif DA. Physician attitudes toward pharmacist provision of medication therapy management services. Pharm World Sci. 2009;31(4):487–93.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alkhateeb FM, Unni E, Latif D, Shawaqfeh MS, Al-Rousan RM. Physician attitudes toward collaborative agreements with pharmacists and their expectations of community pharmacists’ responsibilities in West Virginia. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2009;49(6):797–800.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bryant L, Coster G, McCormick R. General practitioner perceptions of clinical medication reviews undertaken by community pharmacists. J Prim Health Care. 2010;2(3):225–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hatah E, Braund R, Duffull S, Tordoff J. General practitioners’ perceptions of pharmacists’ new services in New Zealand. Int J Clin Pharm. 2012;34(2):364–73.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kucukarslan SN, Hagan AM, Shimp LA, Gaither CA, Lewis NJW. Integrating medication therapy management in the primary care medical home: a review of randomized controlled trials. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2011;68(4):335–45.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    McGrath SH, Snyder ME, Dueñas GG, Pringle JL, Smith RB, McGivney MS. Physician perceptions of pharmacist-provided medication therapy management: qualitative analysis. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2010;50(1):67–71.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Montgomery AT, Kälvemark-Sporrong S, Henning M, Tully MP, Kettis-Lindblad A. Implementation of a pharmaceutical care service: prescriptionists’, pharmacists’ and doctors’ views. Pharm World Sci. 2007;29(6):593–602.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Owens C, Baergen R, Cady P. Multistate survey of primary care physician and midlevel provider attitudes toward community pharmacists. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2009;49(4):538–43.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Teinilä T, Kaunisvesi K, Airaksinen M. Primary care physicians’ perceptions of medication errors and error prevention in cooperation with community pharmacists. Res Soc Adm Pharm. 2011;7(2):162–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Snyder ME, Zillich AJ, Primack BA, Rice KR, Somma McGivney MA, Pringle JL, et al. Exploring successful community pharmacist–physician collaborative working relationships using mixed methods. Res Soc Adm Pharm. 2010;6(4):307–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Zillich AJ, Doucette WR, Carter BL, Kreiter CD. Development and initial validation of an instrument to measure physician-pharmacist collaboration from the physician perspective. Value Health. 2005;8(1):59–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Zillich AJ, Milchak JL, Carter BL, Doucette WR. Utility of a questionnaire to measure physician-pharmacist collaborative relationships. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) 2006;46(4):453–8.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Laubscher T, Evans C, Blackburn D, Taylor J, McKay S. Collaboration between family physicians and community pharmacists to enhance adherence to chronic medications: opinions of Saskatchewan family physicians. Can Fam Physician. 2009;55(12):e69–75.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Modak I, Sexton JB, Lux TR, Helmreich RL, Thomas EJ. Measuring safety culture in the ambulatory setting: the safety attitudes questionnaire—ambulatory version. J Gen Intern Med. 2007;22(1):1–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fendrick AM, Pan DE, Johnson GE. OTC analgesics and drug interactions: clinical implications. Osteopath Med Prim Care. 2008;2:2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Amoako EP, Richardson-Campbell L, Kennedy-Malone L. Self-medication with over-the-counter drugs among elderly adults. J Gerontol Nurs. 2003;29(8):10–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wens J, Vermeire E, Hearnshaw H, Lindenmeyer A, Biot Y, van Royen P. Educational interventions aiming at improving adherence to treatment recommendations in type 2 diabetes: a sub-analysis of a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2008;79(3):377–88.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Martin-Boone JE, Pruce D, Airaksinen M, Chauvé M, Chen T, Gray A et al. FIP Reference Paper Collaborative Practice; 2009 [cited 2013 Jan 25]. Available from:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Franziska Wüstmann
    • 1
  • Carsten Haase-Strey
    • 1
  • Thomas Kubiak
    • 2
  • Christoph Alexander Ritter
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Clinical Pharmacy, Institute of PharmacyErnst-Moritz-Arndt-University GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Health Psychology, Institute of PsychologyJohannes Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany

Personalised recommendations