Contributions of community pharmacists to patients on antidepressants—a qualitative study among key informants
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Background Patients with an antidepressant drug treatment (ADT) report unmet needs and a significant proportion stop their ADT prematurely. Community pharmacists can play a key role in supporting these patients. Objective To explore the perspectives of various leaders in health care about the current and potential contributions of community pharmacists to patients on ADT. Setting The province of Quebec (Canada). Method We conducted a qualitative descriptive exploratory study using interviews among leaders who were involved in health care services, pharmaceutical services, physician and pharmacist education, as well as patient and healthcare professional associations. Verbatim transcripts of interviews were analyzed using computer-assisted thematic analysis. Main outcome measure Perspectives about the contributions of community pharmacists to patients on ADT. Results Interviews revealed that pharmacists are perceived to be accessible drug experts whose particular strengths are their thorough knowledge of drugs, their commitment to ensure ADT safety and tolerability, as well as their commitment to inform and support patients. Leaders trained in pharmacy or representatives of pharmacy organizations had concrete expectations for pharmacists’ increased involvement in monitoring ADT adherence and efficacy. They extensively discussed the regulatory and organizational changes required to enhance this role. Leaders also stated that, in addition to patients, health care teams could benefit from pharmacists’ expertise and support. Conclusion Participating key informants perceived the need for enhanced pharmacist monitoring of ADT adherence and efficacy. They also expressed their openness to an increased collaboration between health care teams and pharmacists.
KeywordsAntidepressant agents Canada Community pharmacy services Interviews Key informants Medication therapy management Qualitative study
Unrestricted Grant from the Prends soin de toi program (AstraZeneca, Lilly, Lundbeck and Merck). L. Guillaumie received a post-doctoral research scholarship from the Chair on adherence to treatments. The Chair on Adherence to Treatments is funded through unrestricted Grants from AstraZeneca Canada, Merck Canada, Pfizer Canada, Sanofi Canada and the Prends soin de toi program S. Lauzier is a research scholar from the Fonds de recherche du Québec–Santé in partnership with the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux.
Conflicts of interest
D. V. is president of Panacée Conseil providing professional development services to pharmacists. Other authors have no conflicts to declare.
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