Sex and gender-based analysis in pharmacy practice research: A scoping review

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Recognizing the potential effect of sex and gender on health outcomes, there is a shift toward conducting sex and gender-based analysis (SGBA) within health research. However, little is known about the extent to which SGBA has been incorporated into pharmacy practice research.


To understand the extent to which SGBA is included in pharmacy practice research.


Scoping review of English-language studies identified through MEDLINE, Embase, International Pharmacy Abstracts (IPA), and CINAHL (inception to Jan 2014). Two raters independently screened citations to identify titles and abstracts that included key words related to sex or gender and studies that could be categorized as pharmacy practice research. One author extracted data from included studies related to study design, population, intervention/exposure and outcomes, with results reviewed by another. All authors reviewed eligible articles to categorize them based on a previously-developed typology, and to assess four criteria: 1) the inclusion of sex or gender in research objectives, 2) the depth of sex/gender analysis incorporated into study designs and reporting, 3) the inclusion of sex or gender considerations in interpretation of study results, 4) the intentional and accurate use of sex/gender language.


Of 458 unique search results, only six articles met the inclusion criteria. Two of these six publications included sex/gender considerations in a model consistent with sex/gender based analysis as described by Hammarström. Three of the six studies inaccurately applied sex and gender terminology, whereas the two studies that featured sex or gender in their primary research question did use these terms appropriately.


Despite increasing attention on the need for considering sex and gender, there was a paucity of pharmacy practice research publications that conducted SGBA. This presents an opportunity to explore sex, gender and intersectionality when pursuing studies that explore the impact of pharmacists interventions on patient outcomes.

Sex and gender based analysis (SGBA) is identified as important for health research, yet a scoping review of pharmacy practice research reveals limited use of SGBA. Future research should use SGBA to promote inclusivity.

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