Intervention research to enhance community pharmacists' cognitive services: A systematic review

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Abstract

Background

Positive impact of community pharmacists' cognitive pharmaceutical services (CPS) is well documented. However, community pharmacists have been slow to expand CPS roles. This systematic review explores how community pharmacy intervention research can help inform efforts to expand cognitive pharmaceutical service delivery.

Objectives

To: 1) identify community pharmacy CPS intervention studies that report data on pharmacist behaviors, either as a final study outcome itself or as a fidelity measure in patient outcome studies, and 2) describe the state of this research to help frame future research agendas.

Methods

Empirical articles examining improvement or expansion of community pharmacist cognitive services published through December 2010 were searched using various search engines, bibliography searches and authors' libraries. Studies were included if they: 1) reported findings on pharmacist behaviors during cognitive service delivery, 2) employed a minimum of pre-post design or two study arms for pharmacists/pharmacies, and 3) were in community-based pharmacies.

Results

A total of 50 studies evaluated impact of community pharmacy based CPS delivery; however, only 21 included a pharmacist behavior outcome measure as a final outcome or as a fidelity measure. The majority (14 out of 21) of studies used a randomized controlled trial design. Nearly half (10 of 21) addressed asthma or tobacco cessation. Limited details were provided about interventions to prepare pharmacists for CPS delivery. The most frequent measures of pharmacist behavior were patient surveys and observation of pharmacists' behavior by secret shoppers; electronic data sets were rarely used.

Conclusions

There is a need for well-designed intervention research that evaluates how interventions impact on pharmacist cognitive service behavior. Positive findings from this review reinforce that planned interventions have the potential to improve and expand pharmacist cognitive service delivery; however, more detail is needed in study publications for this potential to be fully realized.

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