General practitioners’ perceptions of the current status and pharmacists’ contribution to primary care in Iceland
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Background For the past several years pharmacists’ responsibilities have expanded globally from traditional tasks of dispensing medications to collaborating with other health care professionals in patient care. Similar developments have not occurred in outpatient settings in Iceland. Objective The aim of this study was to explore Icelandic general practitioners’ views on the current status of primary care, their perceptions of pharmacists as a health care profession, and their attitudes towards future GP-pharmacist collaboration in primary care in Iceland. Setting Twelve primary care clinics in Iceland. Methods Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with general practitioners from different primary care clinics in Iceland. A purposive and snowball sampling technique was used to select participants. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were categorized by themes and then analyzed using conventional content analysis. Main outcome measure General practitioners’ attitudes towards pharmacists. Results Twenty general practitioners from twelve different primary care clinics in Iceland were interviewed. There are several unmet needs regarding medicines and patient monitoring in the Icelandic health care system. General practitioners suggested ways in which these gaps may be addressed and pharmacist-led clinical service was one of the suggestions. Currently, their communication with pharmacists in the primary sector solely surrounds practical non-clinical issues. Due to increasing polypharmacy and multimorbidity, they suggested that pharmacists should be more involved in patient care. Conclusions General practitioners believe that pharmacist-led clinical service can increase the quality of patient therapy. To improve communication between these health care providers, pharmacists must also re-professionalize (strengthening the profession´s status through new responsibilities and tasks), not having a conflict of interest and showing that they have expertise in patient care.
KeywordsAttitudes Collaboration General practitioners Pharmaceutical care Pharmacist Primary care
The authors wish to thank all participants for their contribution to this study.
Funding was provided by University of Iceland, Teaching fund.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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