Factors influencing the degree of physician-pharmacist collaboration within Iraqi public healthcare settings.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Medication safety and effectiveness can be improved through interprofessional collaboration. The goals of this study were to measure the degree of physician-pharmacist collaboration within Iraqi governmental healthcare settings and to investigate factors influencing this collaboration.

METHODS

This cross-sectional study was conducted in Al-Najaf Province using the Collaborative Working Relationship Model and Physician-Pharmacist Collaborative Instrument (PPCI). Four pharmacists distributed paper surveys with a 7-point Likert scale to a convenience sample of physicians and pharmacists working in seven public hospitals and two outpatient clinics. The questionnaire (in English) covered individual (demographics, practising years and academic affiliation), context (practice setting) and PPCI characteristics (trustworthiness, role specification and relationship initiation) in addition to collaborative care items: one for pharmacists and one for physicians. Separate multiple regressions were used to assess the association of the factors with collaborative care for physicians and for pharmacists.

KEY FINDINGS

Seventy-seven physicians and 86 pharmacists returned usable surveys (81.5% response rate). The majority of physicians were male (84%), while the majority of pharmacists were female (58%). The mean age of the physicians was (37.99 years) older than that of the pharmacists (30.35 years). The physicians had a longer period of practice (11.32 years) than pharmacists (5.45 years). Most (90%) of the providers were practising in hospitals. Pharmacist academic affiliation was significantly associated with collaborative care. The pharmacist and physician regressions indicated significant (P < 0.05) associations between collaborative care and two PPCI domains (role specification and relationship initiation for physicians; role specification and trustworthiness for pharmacists).

CONCLUSIONS

This study focused on physician-pharmacist collaboration within hospitals, and it was the first study measuring interprofessional collaboration in Iraq. The results showed there is physician-pharmacist collaboration within Iraqi hospitals and exchange characteristics had significant influence on this collaboration.

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