International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 1219–1229 | Cite as

Perceived needs of pharmaceutical care services among healthcare professionals in South Korea: a qualitative study

  • Iyn-Hyang Lee
  • Sandy Jeong Rhie
  • Nam Kyung Je
  • Ki Yon Rhew
  • Eunhee Ji
  • Jung Mi Oh
  • Euni LeeEmail author
  • Jeong-Hyun YoonEmail author
Research Article


Purpose To explore the need for pharmaceutical care services, key features of desirable pharmacy services, and perceived barriers for advancing the services in hospital environments with doctors and nurses who are key co-workers of the interdisciplinary team care services.Methods Semi-structured, in-depth interviews with eighteen doctors and fifteen nurses employing purposive and snowballing sampling strategies were conducted in ten hospitals in South Korea. Results The level of pharmaceutical care was varied across regions or institutions in South Korea. The concept of pharmaceutical care was insufficiently defined, and tended to be limited to some parts of medication counseling. Through pharmaceutical care services, doctors desired to acquire comprehensive drug information from and to share clinical responsibilities with pharmacists. Nurses wished to lower their burdens of medication counseling services from their daily practices. Doctors and nurses asked for pharmacists providing essential and carefully selected medication information to their patients in a patient-centered manner. The listed barriers to pharmaceutical care included the lack of appropriate systems for reward, insufficient accessibility to patient records by pharmacists, ambiguous role descriptions of pharmacist, and absence of effective communication among professionals. Conclusion A successful pharmaceutical care service model should allow efficient exchange of information among healthcare professionals to build inter-professional trust and to provide a continuity of care both in terms of time and setting. As prerequisites of such system, it was warranted to develop clinical evidence and an appropriate reward system for pharmaceutical care services.


In-depth interview Interdisciplinary team Pharmaceutical care Qualitative study South Korea 



We thank researchers and pharmacists from the Drug Treatment Evaluation and Management (DrugTEAM) Group, including Kyung Im Kim, Bae Min Kyung, Nayoung Han, Heejin Na, Hyuneun Chu, Jaehyun Kim, Ji Eun Kang, Joowon Chung, Kyung Sook Choi, Minji Sohn, and Seung Hee Han, and all interviewees for their priceless contributions. We also thank Dayoung Lee, College of Pharmacy, Yeungnam University for translating raw data from Korean to English.


This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant Number: HI13C0731).

Conflicts of interests

None of the authors have any potential conflicts of interest concerning this work. The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the KHIDI.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iyn-Hyang Lee
    • 1
  • Sandy Jeong Rhie
    • 2
  • Nam Kyung Je
    • 3
  • Ki Yon Rhew
    • 4
  • Eunhee Ji
    • 5
  • Jung Mi Oh
    • 6
  • Euni Lee
    • 6
    Email author
  • Jeong-Hyun Yoon
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.College of PharmacyYeungnam UniversityGyeongsanRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.College of PharmacyEwha Womans UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.College of PharmacyPusan National UniversityBusanRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.College of PharmacyDongduk Women’s UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.College of PharmacyGachon UniversityIncheonRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.College of PharmacySeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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