Practice change in community pharmacy: Quantification of facilitators

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2008, 42 (6), pp. 861 - 868
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BACKGROUND: There has been an increasing international trend toward the delivery of cognitive pharmaceutical services (CPS) in community pharmacy. CPS have been developed and disseminated individually, without a framework underpinning their implementation and with limited knowledge of factors that might assist practice change. The implementation process is complex, involving a range of internal and external factors. OBJECTIVE: To quantify facilitators of practice change in Australian community pharmacies. METHODS: We employed a literature review and qualitative study to facilitate the design of a 43-item "facilitators of practice change" scale as part of a quantitative survey instrument using a framework of organizational theory. The questionnaire was pilot-tested (n = 100), then mailed to a random sample of 2000 community pharmacies, with a copy each for the pharmacy owner, employed pharmacist, and pharmacy assistant. The construct validity and reliability of the scale were established using exploratory factor analysis and Cronbach's α, respectively. RESULTS: A total of 735 (37%) pharmacies responded, with 1303 individual questionnaires. Factor analysis of the scale yielded 7 factors, explaining 48.8% of the total variance. The factors were: relationship with physicians (item loading range 0.59-0.85; Cronbach's α 0.90), remuneration (0.52-0.74; 0.82), pharmacy layout (0.52-0.79; 0.81), patient expectation (0.52-0.85; 0.82), manpower/staff (0.49-0.66; 0.80), communication and teamwork (0.37-0.65; 0.77), and external support/assistance (0.47-0.69; 0.74). CONCLUSIONS: All of the factors demonstrated good reliability and construct validity and explained approximately half of the variance. Implementing CPS requires support not only with the clinical aspects of service delivery, but also for the process of implementation itself, and remuneration models must reflect this. The identified facilitators should be used in a multilevel strategy to integrate professional services into the community pharmacy business, engaging pharmacists and their staff, policy makers, educators, and researchers. Further research is required to determine additional factors impacting the capacity of community pharmacies to implement change.
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