International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1430–1442 | Cite as

Role and impact of pharmacists in Spain: a scoping review

  • Mar Saavedra-Mitjans
  • Éléonore Ferrand
  • Noe GarinEmail author
  • Jean-François Bussières
Review Article


Background The role of the pharmacist has evolved greatly over the last decades, expanding to patient-oriented activities, administrative tasks and public health functions. However, considerable differences emerge across regions. Aim of the review To gather evidence in order to describe and highlight the different characteristics of the pharmacists’ role and the impact of their activities in Spain. Method A review of the existing literature was conducted. The literature search was undertaken in PubMed between 01/01/2006 and 15/08/2017. Results were screened and reviewed to extract previously established criteria such as author(s), publication year, language, study design, setting, pharmaceutical activity, patient care programs, targeted diseases and intervention description using DEPICT2 tool. Pharmaceutical intervention were classified into eight outcome measures and categorized by types of outcomes reported: descriptive or impact evaluation regarding the effect of the service (positive, neutral or negative). Results The search strategy resulted in 473 articles and 108 articles met the inclusion criteria. The most common design was observational (n = 76, 70%). Most articles were published after 2011 (75%), in English (69%). Studies were conducted in hospitals (60%) and community pharmacies (30%). Of the 24 pharmaceutical activities identified, medication review was the activity most frequently studied (n = 42), followed by patient education (n = 29), risk and prevention (n = 27) and medication reconciliation (n = 19). Only 39 articles (36%) had outcome measures with impact evaluation. Of the 223 impact outcome measures, 48% (107/223) had a positive effect. Conclusion This review shows the substantial scientific production focusing on pharmacy practice in Spain over the last years. The evidence reviewed reflects the pharmacist role at various professional settings, providing a wide variety of activities on diverse targeted diseases and patient care programs, in line with the increasing specialization of clinical pharmacists over the last years.


Clinical pharmacy Community pharmacy Hospital pharmacy Pharmacy practice Primary care pharmacy Scoping review Spain 



The authors would like to thank Elena Rodríguez-Murphy and Esther Rodríguez-Murphy for the translation and style correction of the text.

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Supplementary material

11096_2018_740_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (91 kb)
Annex 1. List of the selected articles with the variables assessed (PDF 90 kb)
11096_2018_740_MOESM2_ESM.docx (52 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 52 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmacy Department and Pharmacy Practice Research UnitCHU Sainte-JustineMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Pharmacy DepartmentHospital de la Santa Creu i Sant PauBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Instituto de Salud Carlos IIICentro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM)MadridSpain
  4. 4.School of Health Science BlanquernaUniversitat Ramon LlullBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Faculty of PharmacyUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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