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Barriers and Facilitators to Use of Professional Practice Resources by Australian Pharmacists and Intern Pharmacists: A Focus Group Study

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: MILL, Deanna (University of Western Australia , Australia)
  • Co-author(s): *Deanna Mill1 Fraser Fullerton1 Matthew D. Halliday1 Emma Murace1 Altinka Res1 Dr Liza Seubert1 Dr Kenneth Lee1 Dr Amy Page1,2,3 Dr Jacinta Johnson4,5 Dr Sandra Salter1 Prof Rhonda Clifford1 Dr Danielle D’Lima6 1. School of Allied Health, University of Western Australia 2. Pharmacy Department, The Alfred 3. Centre for Medicines Use and Safety, Monash University 4. UniSA Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia 5. SA Pharmacy, SA Health, Adelaide, Australia 6. Centre for Behaviour Change, Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London
  • Abstract:


    Pharmacy practice in Australia is governed by a hierarchy of codes, standards and professional practice guidelines, including the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA) professional practice guidelines, Professional Practice Standards for Pharmacists, and the Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook (APF). These professional practice resources provide a framework for pharmacy practice and endeavour to facilitate consistency in the provision of pharmacy-based services to consumers across the country. Despite their role in specifying essential pharmacist behaviours, there is limited research exploring the use of these resources in practice.


    To determine Australian pharmacists’ (including intern pharmacists’) perspectives regarding barriers and facilitators to the use of professional practice resources.


    Focus group discussions were undertaken with pharmacists and interns from various practice settings, locations, and with varying years of experience. Audio-recordings from each focus group were de-identified and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analysed using the COM-B (‘capability’, ‘opportunity’, ‘motivation’ and ‘behaviour’) model.


    Nine focus groups with 45 participants were conducted. Limited awareness of the practice resources hindered pharmacists’ ‘capability’ to use them. Pharmacists indicated that access challenges and suboptimal content design limited their ‘opportunity’ to use the resources. Pharmacists’ professional role and identity (‘motivation’) appeared to inhibit use of the resources if they were perceived to not apply to their current role (e.g. hospital pharmacists) or facilitated use as an educator (e.g. mentoring an intern). Motivation to use the resources was associated with a need to ‘do the right thing’ by patients and meet professional obligations.


    Barriers to the use of professional practice resources include limited awareness, access, and content design. Facilitators to use of the resources include identifying oneself as a learner or teacher and acting to avoid ‘consequences’ of not doing the right thing. Understanding these barriers and facilitators should inform interventions to target and improve pharmacists’ guideline use.

Last update 4 October 2019

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