International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 31–35 | Cite as

Involving community pharmacists in pharmacy practice research: experiences of peer interviewing

  • Charles W. MorecroftEmail author
  • Adam J. Mackridge
  • Elizabeth C. Stokes
  • Nicola J. Gray
  • Sarah E. Wilson
  • Darren M. Ashcroft
  • Noah Mensah
  • Graham B. Pickup
Short Research Report


Background Translation of interest in research into active engagement of community pharmacists as research partners/co-researchers remains a challenge. Involving pharmacists in specific research techniques such as peer interviewing, however, may enhance validity of the results. Objective To enhance community pharmacists’ involvement in pharmacy practice research through peer interview training. Method A subgroup of participants in a multi-phase pharmacy practice research project trained to do peer interviews. These pharmacist interviewers attended a workshop and were mentored. Comments from their feedback forms and ongoing engagement with the Research Associate were thematically analysed. Results Positive themes from five interviewers included the importance of the topic and their wish to learn skills beyond their everyday role. The small group format of the training day helped to build confidence. Interviewers felt their shared professional background helped them to capture relevant comments and probe effectively. There were challenges, however, for interviewers to balance research activities with their daily work. Interviewers experienced difficulty in securing uninterrupted time with interviewees which sometimes affected data quality by ‘rushing’. Conclusion Community pharmacists can be engaged as peer interviewers to the benefit of the volunteers and research team, but must be well resourced and supported.


Community pharmacy Qualitative research Research methods 



The research team would like to thank the interviewers for their hard work on this project, and the pharmacists who agreed to be interviewed. This study was developed by the NW Primary Care Pharmacy Research Group workgroup and was facilitated by the former NW PCRN. The steering group includes academic members from the Region’s three Schools of Pharmacy (Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Manchester, and the University of Central Lancashire) and practising community pharmacists. This workgroup is actively involved in building research capacity among community pharmacists from both independent and multiple pharmacy companies in the NorthWest region of England.


This study was funded by a grant from Pharmacy Research UK, a research charity based in London, England.

Conflicts of interest

All authors have completed the Unified Competing Interest form at (available on request from the corresponding author) and declare that (1) CWM, AJM and ECS have support from Pharmacy Research UK for the submitted work, and NJG has support from Liverpool John Moores University for the submitted work; (2) AJM has received locum fees from community pharmacy contractors, NJG has received research funding from Pharmacy Research UK and Community Pharmacy Greater Manchester, and NM and GBP are employees of Boots Pharmacy, all of which organisations might have an interest in the submitted work—in the previous 3 years; (3) the spouse of NJG has financial relationships that may be relevant to the submitted work; and (4) CWM, AJM, NJG, DMA, NM and GBP have non-financial interests that may be relevant to the submitted work, as they are all pharmacists registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council.


  1. 1.
    Gray N, Mensah N, Allen B. “Research Ready”: building research capacity in community pharmacy. Pharm J. 2013;291:221–2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Seston E, Hassell K, Cantrill J, Nicolson M, Noyce P, Schafheutle E. Experiences of establishing and maintaining a community pharmacy research network. Prim Heal Care Res Dev. 2003;4:245–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Elkassem W, Pallivalapila A, Al Hail M, McHattie L, Diack L, Stewart D. Advancing the pharmacy practice research agenda: views and experiences of pharmacists in Qatar. Int J Clin Pharm. 2013;35:692–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Armour C, Brillant M, Krass I. Pharmacists’ views on involvement in pharmacy practice research : strategies for facilitating participation. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2007;5:59–66.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Goode J-VKR, Mott DA, Chater R. Collaborations to facilitate success of community pharmacy practice-based research networks. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2008;48:153–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carr MB, Divine H, Hanna C, Freeman PR, Blumenschein K. Independent community pharmacist interest in participating in community pharmacy research networks. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2011;51:727–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chew-Graham CA, May CR, Perry MS. Qualitative research and the problem of judgement: lessons from interviewing fellow professionals. Fam Pract. 2002;19:285–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Coar L, Sim J. Interviewing one’s peers: methodological issues in a study of health professions. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2006;24:251–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Morecroft
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adam J. Mackridge
    • 1
  • Elizabeth C. Stokes
    • 2
  • Nicola J. Gray
    • 3
  • Sarah E. Wilson
    • 4
  • Darren M. Ashcroft
    • 5
  • Noah Mensah
    • 6
  • Graham B. Pickup
    • 7
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular SciencesLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Division of Health ResearchLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  3. 3.Green Line Consulting LtdManchesterUK
  4. 4.School of Pharmacy and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  5. 5.Manchester Pharmacy SchoolUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  6. 6.NIHR NW Coast Clinical Research NetworkLiverpoolUK
  7. 7.ManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations