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HSRPP 2010: Oral communications — from photography to pharmacists prescribing in clozapine clinics

By Moira Kinnear

Throughout the 2010 Health Services Research and Pharmacy Practice conference, there were four parallel sessions of oral communications.

The best oral communication was awarded to Ndeshi Salema for her presentation — titled “Click, capture, converse: using photography to elicit adolescents’ views regarding asthma management”. In this study, the team from Nottingham used a novel approach to explore barriers and facilitators to medication adherence in adolescents.

Photographs taken by participants were used as interview prompts. They covered subjects such as social activities, asthma triggers, asthma treatments and devices, friends, family and feelings about having asthma. The photographs were able to portray strategies that influenced medicine taking behaviour.

A sample of other oral communications

Improving questionnaire response rates

The value of a patient advisory group (PAG) to improve questionnaire response rates was the subject of a presentation from Hannah Dawson and colleagues, from Bath.

The PAG reported barriers such as feeling unable to complete a questionnaire and fear of asking for help, lack of motivation and stigma around a disease. Advice from a PAG in terms of offering assistance and methods of communication increased response rates from 14 per cent to 36 per cent. Such changes to study design are associated with increased resource requirements.

Non-medical prescribing

There were a number of papers on the subject of non-medical prescribing. One example, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, involved posting a questionnaire to 5,000 members of the public in Scotland to explore their awareness, views and attitudes to non-medical prescribing.

The low response rate and the results suggest a need to engage more with the general public on new roles for healthcare professionals.

Pharmacist prescribing in clozapine clinics

Jane Sutton, from Bath, presented a study that used in-depth case study methodology to evaluate pharmacist prescribing in clozapine clinics. Interviews were conducted with people involved in the care of patients taking clozapine to identify and describe alternative models of delivery of care, including factors that enable pharmacists to contribute to care.

Quantitative descriptions of organisational structure were obtained from patient surveys and direct observation of services. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was applied as a technique to access the meaning of participants’ personal accounts. Data were collected over six months from seven sites. Three pharmacist independent prescribers were leading clinics and specialist nurses ran the other four.

Although they were qualified independent prescribers, the pharmacists were working as supplementary prescribers and this appeared to be through choice. They were comfortable prescribing treatments for clozapine side effects but were not adjusting clozapine doses.

The pharmacists reported feeling unsupported by the healthcare team and the “system” to take on the independent prescriber role. The study concluded that clinics could be better organised with appropriate skill mix, including the use of pharmacists’ independent prescribing skills.

Also, the pharmacists could be better supported through provision of additional training.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11010957

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