Care ideologies reflected in 4 conceptions of pharmaceutical care

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Different ways to practice pharmaceutical care have been developed. One expression of this fact is the existence of many different classification systems to document drug-related problems (DRPs). Evidence suggests that classification systems have different characteristics and that these characteristics reflect different conceptions of pharmaceutical care. To increase the understanding of conceptions of pharmaceutical care, underlying values and beliefs (ideologies) can be explored.


To explore various conceptions of pharmaceutical care to identify the care ideologies on which these conceptions are based.


Representatives of 4 selected conceptions of pharmaceutical care were interviewed in face-to-face meetings. During the interviews, 4 basic questions were asked. Three were focused on pharmaceutical care and 1 on DRPs. Interview transcripts were analyzed by an inductive method inspired by grounded theory. The conceptions studied were Strand, Granada-II, PCNE v5.0, and Apoteket.


In Strand, patients are given a more active role in the pharmaceutical care process, as compared to Granada-II, PCNE v5.0, and Apoteket. Pharmacists in all the conceptions of pharmaceutical care assume they have special knowledge that patients benefit from. However, they use their knowledge in different ways in the various pharmaceutical care conceptions. In Strand, individual goals of drug therapy are established together with the patient, whereas in Granada-II, PCNE, and Apoteket goals are not explicitly discussed. The identified differences correspond to different care ideologies.


The pharmaceutical care conceptions are based on different care ideologies. The ideology is expressed in how therapy goals are set and patient needs defined. Strand is based on a patient-centered ideology; patient therapy goals and needs are defined by the patient together with the practitioners. Granada-II, PCNE, and Apoteket are based on an evidence-based medicine approach; patient therapy goals and needs are defined by the practitioners, based on available scientific knowledge.

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