Understanding community pharmacy intervention practice: Lessons from intervention researchers

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Abstract

Background:

Community pharmacy (CP) is a setting with health promotion and public health potential which could include strategies with a nutrition promotion focus. Research embedded in this setting has explored and produced evidence to inform practice change to develop this potential. The experience of undertaking research in this setting may provide insight into the challenges and key features of intervention research practice. Exploring experienced-based knowledge presents as a productive area of research, extending what can be known beyond the bounds of what is measurable.

Objectives:

This study aimed to understand the experience of intervention research in CP with a focus on nutrition and to develop guidance for future research practice (intervention design and implementation) in CP based on interventionists' reflections and practice wisdom.

Methods:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 researchers with experience in undertaking intervention research in CP with a nutrition component. Content analysis, constant comparison and interpretive description were used in the analysis and interpretation of interview data.

Results:

Five key lessons were identified – 1) utilize existing capacity; 2) navigate and utilize social power and interests; 3) personalize engagement and recruitment; 4) consider the logistics and 5) intervention type considerations. Key challenges for translating research into practice and sustaining change included financial sustainability, physical constraints, logistics, collaboration, and practice change enablers. Personal reflections on research practice identified qualities, such as determination and skills in networking, as key for researching in CP.

Conclusions:

CP-embedded research is challenging given the complexity of the practice environment. The social context of CP appears central to intervention research and a nuanced understanding of the social context needs to be the basis for intervention design to inform successful implementation. Experience-based and insider knowledge is useful and needed for nuanced design and development of intervention research in CP.

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