Practical strategies and perceptions from community pharmacists following their experiences with conducting pharmacy practice research: a qualitative content analysis

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Abstract

Objectives

While prior research identified barriers to conducting research in community pharmacies, there remains a need to better understand facilitators to ensure successful collaborations between academic researchers and pharmacists. Our objective was to determine the experiences and perspectives of community pharmacists who have recently conducted a pharmacy practice-based research study to gain in-depth understanding of challenges as well as facilitators and identify strategies and solutions.

Methods

We conducted a qualitative study involving one-on-one semi-structured telephone interviews with community pharmacists following the completion of a practice-based research study in their pharmacies. Interview transcripts were analysed using inductive content analysis involving open coding, creating categories and abstraction into final themes.

Key findings

Eleven pharmacists participated in the qualitative interviews. We identified six major themes including: (1) barriers (e.g. time constraints); (2) facilitators (e.g. ideal pharmacy layout); (3) support and resources from academic researchers (e.g. helpfulness of training, easy-to-use study materials); (4) pharmacist-initiated strategies for conducting research (beyond prior suggestions from researchers); (5) suggestions for future pharmacy practice research; and (6) motivation for conducting pharmacy practice research. These findings informed practical strategies targeted at academic researchers and pharmacists, respectively, to facilitate the conduct of research in community pharmacists across various stages of the research process.

Conclusions

Our study adds to better understanding of community pharmacists' perspectives on conducting research and identifies practical solutions that can be readily implemented by academic researchers and pharmacists participating in research.

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