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Pharmacists in general practice: what do they do? A qualitative case study.

Kempen, T.G.H., Koumi, R., Sporrong, S.K. Pharmacists in general practice: what do they do? A qualitative case study. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy: 2023
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Pharmacists working in general practice are a relatively new phenomenon in many European countries. Providing insight into what pharmacists do in general practice may support further implementation of general practice-based pharmacist roles and enhance their contribution to health care.

To explore the tasks performed by pharmacists in general practice in Sweden.

A case study was conducted in 7 general practices in Uppsala County, Sweden, where pharmacists were employed. Activities performed by pharmacists were self-reported during March 2021. Participant observations and semi-structured interviews with pharmacists were conducted between October and November 2021. Self-reported activities were categorised and analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were analysed using conventional content analysis.

In total, 174 activities were self-reported by 8 pharmacists. Two pharmacists were observed for 2 days each, and 6 pharmacists were interviewed. Their main task was conducting medication reviews in older patients with polypharmacy. In addition, they handled a broad variety of drug-related questions and treatment follow-up. Pharmacists described working in a more efficient and needs-based manner over time. They stressed that working at the practice increased their accessibility to and their collaborative work with other healthcare professionals, and enabled them to meet patients face-to-face. Future challenges include defining tasks more clearly, assuming greater responsibility for patient care, and meeting the growing demand for pharmacists in general practice.

Pharmacists in general practice in Sweden perform a broad variety of tasks related to identifying, resolving and preventing drug-related problems, mainly in older patients with polypharmacy.