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Understanding pharmacists' experiences with advice-giving in the community pharmacy setting: a focus group study.

Simmons-Yon A, Roth MT, Vu M, Kavalieratos D, Weinberger M, Rao JK. Understanding pharmacists' experiences with advice-giving in the community pharmacy setting: a focus group study. Patient education and counseling. 2012 Dec 1; 89(3):476-83.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To examine the experiences of community pharmacists providing advice about symptoms and complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). METHODS: Ten licensed pharmacists and 21 student pharmacists working in community settings participated in 4 focus groups to discuss: patients'' questions about symptoms and CAM, comfort level providing advice, and factors prompting physician referrals. Focus group recordings were transcribed verbatim and interpreted using thematic text analysis. RESULTS: Pharmacists'' dual role as advisors and medical liaisons emerged as primary themes. Participants reported that patients often seek their advice about self-care of symptoms to delay physician visits. Participants were comfortable giving advice; lack of medical history decreased their comfort level. Most were uncomfortable recommending CAM because of the lack of regulation and evidence. Participants suggested that pharmacy curricula expand training on symptom triage, pharmacist-patient communication, and CAM to prepare graduates for employment in community settings. CONCLUSION: Student and licensed pharmacists of this study voiced that they are often asked for advice on symptom management, but reported needing training to help provide appropriate advice to patients. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: The findings suggest that training strategies could help pharmacists appropriately triage and advise patients seeking self-care advice for their symptoms in the community setting.





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