Studies of cognitive services implementation in the pharmacy sector traditionally focus on individual and/or organizational factors to explain why some pharmacies are successful and others are not. The social and political context of the origins of these services is rarely part of the analysis. Researchers and practitioners in the field of pharmacy practice research are increasingly being encouraged to take into account the specific political and societal climate which often plays a defining role in the success or failure of cognitive services implementation in community pharmacies.Objective:
The aim of this article is to argue for the inclusion of political pre-studies as part of the study design for implementation studies on reimbursed services in community pharmacy.Methods:
A political pre-study of the Inhaler Technique Assessment Service (ITAS) introduced in Denmark in 2004 serves as an example of this approach and is described in detail. Documentary analysis was used in order to gain knowledge of the political background of the ITAS.Results:
Political pre-studies provide a more precise understanding of the background of the cognitive services and the way they are being performed, thereby supporting more valid results for subsequent implementation studies.Conclusion:
Political pre-studies were shown to be a useful prerequisite when designing implementation studies of cognitive services in community pharmacies and can provide valuable insight into the ultimate success or failure of these services.