Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 217–223 | Cite as

Data collection methods for analyzing the quality of the dispensing in pharmacies

  • Francisco CaamañoEmail author
  • Alberto Ruano
  • Adolfo Figueiras
  • J.J. Gestal‐Otero


Objective: To review and discuss the advantages and limitations of the different data collection methods for analyzing the dispensing quality in community pharmacies. Methods: A bibliographic search was carried out in MEDLINE (1980‐2000). Articles with Medical Subject Heading (Mesh) “pharmacies”written in English and Spanish that evaluated the quality of dispensing (structure, process or outcome) were selected.Results: Various data collection methods were observed. To analyze the quality of the structure, questionnaires and pharmacist interviews were used. To analyze the quality of the process, self‐completed records, external observers and simulated clients were used. For analyzing the quality of the outcome, questionnaires, client interviews, and biologic samples were collected. Conclusions: The analysis of quality of structure can be useful as a first approach, however, this method may lack sensitivity. On the other hand, the analysis of outcome may be excessively complex and difficult to use, except for experimental or observational studies with large resources. Therefore, an analysis of the quality of the process is the best option. Methods utilizing external observers and simulated clients may best conjugate both internal and external validity.

Community pharmacy Data collection Dispensing quality Methodology Pharmacist Pharmacy practice research Prescriptions 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Caamaño
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alberto Ruano
    • 1
  • Adolfo Figueiras
    • 1
  • J.J. Gestal‐Otero
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Preventive Medicine ServiceUniversity Hospital of Santiago de CompostelaSpain

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