Changing relationships: attitudes and opinions of general practitioners and pharmacists regarding the role of the community pharmacist.
SourcePharmacy World and Science, 25, 5, (2003), pp. 235-241
Article / Letter to editor
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Pharmacy World and Science
SubjectEBP 4: Quality of Care
BACKGROUND: Relationship between general practitioners and pharmacists. AIM: To explore similarities and differences in opinions between general practitioners and pharmacists about the pharmacist's role. To identify factors which determine the attitude of the general practitioner towards the role of the pharmacist as a care provider. DESIGN: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. SETTING: The Netherlands, 2001. PARTICIPANTS: 926 non-dispensing general practitioners, 93 dispensing general practitioners and 328 community pharmacists. METHODS: Statements about the pharmacist's position in primary care were formulated. The attitude towards the pharmacist's care-providing function was determined by adding the scores to the statements. Data were collected on age, gender, professional experience, trainership, type and size of practice, electronic communication, urbanisation level, part-time work, work pressure, postgraduate training, pharmacotherapy audit meetings (PTAMs), the mutual relationship and the desired role of the pharmacist in pharmacotherapy. RESULTS: No significant differences in opinions were found between pharmacists and non-dispending general practitioners with respect to a number of the pharmacist's signalling tasks. Eighty-six percent (CI 83-89) of non-dispensing general practitioners and eighty-two percent (CI 76-87) of pharmacists shared the opinion that pharmacists need to provide the general practitioner with feedback on prescription figures. Furthermore, 85% (CI 82-88) of the non-dispensing general practitioners and 80% (CI 75-86) of the pharmacists believed that pharmacists should suggest items for the PTAM agenda, based on prescription patterns they notice in their pharmacy. The attitude of general practitioners towards the care-providing function of the community pharmacist correlates significantly with the relationship between general practitioners and pharmacists (P < 0.001). There is also a significant difference (P < 0.001) in the attitude score between dispensing and non-dispensing general practitioners: dispensing general practitioners scored lower on the attitude scale. CONCLUSION: Pharmacists and general practitioners largely agree on the pharmacotherapeutic signalling role that a pharmacist should fulfill. A good relationship benefits the attitude of general practitioners towards the pharmacist's care-providing function.
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