Research Article

Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 472-487

First online:

Provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists: a comparison across Europe

  • Carmel M. HughesAffiliated withClinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast
  • , Ahmed F. HawwaAffiliated withClinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast
  • , Claire ScullinAffiliated withClinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast
  • , Claire AndersonAffiliated withDivision of Social Research, School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham
  • , Cecilia B. BernstenAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health & Caring Sciences, Uppsala University
  • , Ingunn BjörnsdóttirAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Copenhagen
  • , Maria A. CordinaAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Malta
  • , Filipa Alves da CostaAffiliated withISCSEM, Campus Universitário
  • , Isabelle De WulfAffiliated withAssociation of Belgian Phamacists, Archimedesstraat
    • , Patrick EichenbergerAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Basel
    • , Veerle FoulonAffiliated withResearch Centre For Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-Economics
    • , Martin C. HenmanAffiliated withThe School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College
    • , Kurt E. HersbergerAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Basel
    • , Marion A. SchaeferAffiliated withInstitute of Clinical Pharmacology, Charité University Medicine Berlin
    • , Birthe SøndergaardAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Copenhagen
    • , Mary P. TullyAffiliated withSchool of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester
    • , Tommy WesterlundAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg
    • , James C. McElnayAffiliated withClinical and Practice Research Group, School of Pharmacy, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast Email author 

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Abstract

Objective To investigate the provision of pharmaceutical care by community pharmacists across Europe and to examine the various factors that could affect its implementation. Methods A questionnaire-based survey of community pharmacies was conducted within 13 European countries. The questionnaire consisted of two sections. The first section focussed on demographic data and services provided in the pharmacy. The second section was a slightly adapted version of the Behavioral Pharmaceutical Care Scale (BPCS) which consists of three main dimensions (direct patient care activities, referral and consultation activities and instrumental activities). Results Response rates ranged from 10–71% between countries. The mean total score achieved by community pharmacists, expressed as a percentage of the total score achievable, ranged from 31.6 (Denmark) to 52.2% (Ireland). Even though different aspects of pharmaceutical care were implemented to different extents across Europe, it was noted that the lowest scores were consistently achieved in the direct patient care dimension (particularly those related to documentation, patient assessment and implementation of therapeutic objectives and monitoring plans) followed by performance evaluation and evaluation of patient satisfaction. Pharmacists who dispensed higher daily numbers of prescriptions in Ireland, Germany and Switzerland had significantly higher total BPCS scores. In addition, pharmacists in England and Ireland who were supported in their place of work by other pharmacists scored significantly higher on referral and consultation and had a higher overall provision of pharmaceutical care. Conclusion The present findings suggest that the provision of pharmaceutical care in community pharmacy is still limited within Europe. Pharmacists were routinely engaged in general activities such as patient record screening but were infrequently involved in patient centred professional activities such as the implementation of therapeutic objectives and monitoring plans, or in self-evaluation of performance.

Keywords

Community pharmacy Europe Pharmaceutical care Pharmacists